Residents of a local apartment complex who thought they were required to pay for their first month of rent in cash might have been duped in an embezzling scheme.
According to court documents, in Aug. 2012, the owner of Midwest Real Estate Development Co. told police he believed two managers had embezzled more than $100,000 from the Heritage Apartments, 5055 S. 55th St.
The owner realized a large amount of money had been lost to promotions, specifically a promotion in which new tenants received their first month rent free, a promotion he told police he never approved of but ran from September 2011 through August 2012.
When the owner, however, contacted approximately 12 random tenants of the complex’s 120 new tenants, whose records said all received the first month’s rent free, all of them indicated they made their first month’s rent payment in cash as directed by the two managers.
Those 12 tenants also told the owner they never signed any promotional addendum paperwork, but the forms, apparently with forged signatures, were included in files of lease paperwork.
That’s when the owner contacted the Greenfield Police Department. The investigation is ongoing and includes police looking at bank records of the two managers and one of their boyfriends.
As of Dec. 18, 2012, the files of 39 new tenants had been reviewed and all of them told Greenfield police they made their first month’s payment in cash and did not sign any promotional paperwork to receive a free first month.
Some of those tenants even provided receipts signed by the managers indicating the first month’s rent had been paid.
When police interviewed the managers, neither could explain why either would accept money for the first month of rent if there was a promotion.
According to WISN.com, who initially reported the story Tuesday, both managers were fired.