Two Orange County men who bilked four families out of nearly $15,000 by renting out homes they didn't own were each sentenced today to 90 days in jail by a Vista judge.
Alexander Braslavsky, 34, and Anthony Patrick Marshall, 38, pleaded guilty to grand theft last Sept. 24.
The defendants made full restitution to the victims before Christmas, but Vista Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein sentenced them to the maximum jail term under the plea agreement, said Deputy District Attorney Anna Winn.
Braslavsky and Marshall -- who has a real estate license -- posted ads on the craigslist Web site for five foreclosed homes in Carlsbad, Corona and Stanton and rented them out, the prosecutor said.
The ads stated "Problem credit OK," according to Winn.
One of the victims, Linda Smith of Carlsbad, said the defendants were very convincing, prompting her to pay them a $4,500 deposit and first and last month's rent. She said Braslavsky and Marshall handed her the keys to the house, and they all worked.
She said she realized she had been swindled when she tried to turn on her utilities and was told someone else had just bought the house.
The woman said she went back on craigslist and posted a notice explaining how she had been scammed, and a Huntington Beach resident who had planned on meeting two men about a rental home in Carlsbad contacted her.
Smith called police, who then went to the previously scheduled meeting between the defendants and their intended target -- the man from Huntington Beach.
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In 1996, a fire swept through the Harmony Grove community in North County, killing one man trapped inside his car. Now, the community is expressing their opposition to a new development project – saying it would create more traffic and increase the time it would take evacuate on a two-lane road.