According to Miami authorities, two ladies defrauded numerous potential tenants out of thousands of dollars for an apartment in Little Havana that they never got to dwell in.
The victims discovered they had been duped after they all arrived at the same location to pick up their keys, according to an arrest complaint.
In the report, a detective claimed that one of the victims had gotten in touch with the phone provided after seeing an advertisement for a one-bedroom apartment at 1400 NW Third Street in the Spanish-language daily Diario Las Americas.
The victim was told to meet a woman by the name of Hamanda on February 28 at a workplace on Southwest Eighth Street and bring $4,050 in cash for the security deposit along with the first and last month’s rent, according to the complaint.
Hamanda allegedly assured the man, who thought she was a realtor, that he would receive the key the following day.
When the man came, Hamanda wasn’t there, according to the police, but two other victims were, claiming that two women named Hamanda and Natalia had rented the same property to them.
Police reported that the victims went to the Southwest Eighth Street business to try to find the two women. After waiting for hours, they realized they had been duped.
According to police reports, one of the victims had taken a photo with Hamanda. Later, they chose Natalia and Hamanda from a police lineup.
According to the report, “Hamanda” was actually Valerie Meza-Faublack, a 21-year-old unemployed Venezuelan national who lives in Miami’s Edgewater district.
Alejandra Martinez-Gonzalez, 19, was identified by the police as “Natalia” in their report.
After meeting detectives on Wednesday at Miami police headquarters, Meza-Faublack was taken into custody. She is accused of organized fraud, third-degree grand theft, and functioning as a real estate broker without a license, all felonies.
The police report states that Martinez-Gonzalez was still at large when Meza-Faublack was apprehended.