Latasha Nicole Waites: Scammer and Squatter in Philadelphia

Latasha Nicole Waites is accused of stealing from seven landlords and wrecking some of their homes. But in an effort to avoid eviction,  she even claimed her own daughter died, and allegedly stole the identities of her sister, her mother, and her minor child.

“I’m horrified. I can’t even explain how upset I am,” Johnson said, “She has ruined my house.”

The property, where she raised her kids, was supposed to be an investment, but Johnson says it turned into a nightmare when Waites moved in.

She’s taken a lot of people, It looks like it’s about $50,000 that she’s taken landlords for,” Attorney Wasser said.

Philadelphia police arrested Waites in July 2016 on forgery, theft, and conspiracy charges. A decade of alleged deception seemed to finally be catching up with her,

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See the articles:

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And the news video here:


Tim Horton and Donald Anstett Squat in Charlotte

There are so many people breaking into homes in Charlotte and creating fake documents saying that they “rented the place” that nearly a whole police department is needed to address all these cases of squatting.

Deputies arrested 39-year-old Donald Anstett. He first told officers he was renting and in the process of transferring the water and electricity to his name.
Then, a similar arrest was made in Port Charlotte on Beaumont Avenue. Detectives found 34-year-old Timothy Horton inside. He had a similar story to what the arresting officer sees all too often now – false paperwork claiming they’re residents.

“Some of them are providing contracts to us that actually is showing a rental agreement, signed,” said Sergeant John Heck, Jr. “We actually had to research that and the listed landlord or tenant doesn’t exist.”

The sheriff’s office has put together a specific neighborhood watch group that deals only with combating squatters.

Both Anstett and Horton are being charged with theft of utility services and trespassing.

Another case involving squatters moving into a vacant home in Philadelphia, is told here:

Tamera Pritchett Squats in Georgia House

Tamera Pritchett, her fiance and two children were told that they were never given permission to be in Dena Everman’s house. Dena had not rented to them, in fact Dena was selling her home and had just closed on the sale of the home, when she drove up to say goodbye to it, and was surprised to find a car in the driveway. Then, she learned that someone was inside.

The people inside claimed that they had responded to an ad on Craiglist and rented the home. They may have been victims of a scammer. However, when these people in the home, (Tamera Pritchett and her family) were told that they did not actually rent the home from the homeowner, but from a criminal pretending to be the owner, Tamera Pritchett & family took a nasty approach and refused to budge, and continued to squat in the home after it had been made very clear to them that their presence there was illegal.

See the news story here:

Clark Eli-Selassie Squats in the Bronx

It turns out it’s a heck of a lot harder to remove a trespassing stranger from your house, than you would think.

He may have broken your window and climbed into your house and then camped out there, but even so, all the squatter has to do is go to housing court and claim that a scammer rented him the place. Which is what Clark Eli-Selassie did, to block the property owners from evicting him. And it may work well. He could be there for up to another year, all the while, paying no rent, and making it ever more likely the property owner, without obtaining rental income, could end up losing the home in foreclosure.


Selassie the Squatter


In this case, it could take so long to get this deadbeat-scammer-squatter out of her home, that the owner, Maria Diaz, stands a good chance of losing her home in foreclosure if she cannot get the squatter out of it.

City housing law mandates that landlords initiate lengthy eviction proceedings if an alleged squatter can prove he has lived somewhere more than 30 days.

One lawyer who specializes in such matters, Adam Leitman Bailey, said the process could take up to a year. “He can probably celebrate next Christmas there, too,” he said of Selassie.

Diaz does not have that kind of time. She said she’d have to declare bankruptcy and give up her Hell’s Kitchen restaurant, El Azteca, unless she sells the building before she loses it to a Texas bank.

Veronica Fernandez-Beleta and Jose Rafael Leyva-Caraveo Squat in Colorado

It was bad enough that Veronica Fernandez-Beleta and Jose Rafael Leyva-Caraveo were inside someone’s home, squatting there, refusing to leave when told that their presence was not legal. They stayed there squatting for 8 months after being informed that they had to leave.  But it got worse when, in another illustration of the stupidity of the justice system and the way it invites scams, the owners of the home were blocked from evicting these squatters, once Veronica filed for bankruptcy.

A marvelously stupid law protects squatters and enables them to stay put, if they simply file for bankruptcy. Who wouldn’t then just file for bankruptcy to block the eviction??

“The sheriff’s office will not proceed with an eviction if there is a bankruptcy in question,” Arapahoe County Undersheriff David Walcher told CBS4.

See the article here:

Frances Moore Wont’ Leave when Evicted in Oakland

Frances Moore is refusing to leave her apartment after receiving a legal eviction notice in Oakland, and being feted as a heroine.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, as in many urban centers on the West and East coasts, the costs of housing are rising and the supply of affordable housing is dwindling. At the same time, the media and tenant and housing activists decry the “gentrification” of neighborhoods. This and the fact that many legal aid societies exist to provide free legal aid to low-income tenants, means that many renters, after receiving an eviction notice, are enabled to remain on the premises both by the prevailing “anti-gentrification” attitude, as well as by free assistance received from the legal aid groups (which do NOT provide free legal assistance to low income landlords) In essence these renters often have the attitude that the property they rent belongs to them, rather than to the property owner, or that the month to month or year lease that they signed, really meant that they were entering a lifelong rental contract — yet there exists no such contract.  And the tenant legal aid agencies  support this entitled attitude.

While it is certainly true that some property owners will try to illegally evict renters simply in order to raise the rent, it is nevertheless still true (even in the progressive Bay Area!) that people have a right to live in their own property.  You wouldn’t think so from some of the articles you read, like this one

or this

Here a woman is attempting to move into her own building and live on her own property, and the media are describing her desire to live in her own building and choose her tenants,  as a “legal loophole.”

East Bay Express writer Sam Lefebvre is in the above article arguing that the property owner has no right to live in her own building and/or choose her housemates/tenants. The  slant of the article is that this eviction of Frances Moore makes use of a “loophole”, rather than a property owner’s legal right. While it may be true that in some cases a landlord will only pretend to move into the building in order to evict someone, absent any evidence indicating that this is occurring, it is wrong to make such an accusation. In Oakland, (and we hope, everywhere else) it is still legal to evict someone in order to live in your own property. It is also legal for a property owner living in a duplex or triplex in Oakland, to decide whom they want to live with on their property, as opposed to being held prisoner on their own property, forced into a years or decades long relationship, by a prohibition on evicting a tenant. This is not a “legal loophole”, it is an owner’s right.

This East Bay Express article seemingly seeks to build support for another kind of ownership, one based on political correctness. Apparently, Frances Moore has the “right” to stay in property which she does not own, and fight to prevent the owner from living in her own property, because Frances Moore is black, and has been a community activist and longtime doer of good deeds in the neighborhood. By contrast the property owner is apparently (so one article suggests) a young white person who was assisted by her parents in buying her first property. The article not so subtly implies that those who are white, are the villians, the gentrifiers, the intruders. Natalia Morphy apparently has no right to buy property in a black neighborhood with the intent to live in it. Much less to choose who will be her housemates.

Simon-Weisberg (Frances Moore’s attorney) said she has seen a sharp increase in these kinds of evictions – sometimes from young white landlords in their 20s who purchase properties with their parents’ help.

Most of the articles on this site, are profiling those who engage in serial squatting or scamming of landlords, rather than in a single case of fighting an eviction. But in this case, the situation is so distorted, with Frances being portrayed as a victim and hero, while the property owner victimized by the tenant is being portrayed as a villian and “gentrifier”, that it seems there is a need to clarify…Frances Moore has been served with notice of a legal eviction, and has not left the premises. Thus as I see it, she is squatter.

Frances Moore gathered a crowd to publicly shame this poor property owner and voice her intent to stay on the premises:

On Sunday, Aunti Frances led more than 100 supporters — the preschoolers again, plus activists associated with organizations including POOR Magazine and Anti Police-Terror Project — from Driver Plaza to Natalia Morphy’s doorstep, banners and a marching band in tow. The chant went, “Which side are you on, Natalia? Which side are you on?” Her blinds were drawn. A cat eyed the demonstrators from the window. Aunti Frances knocked and shouted, “I will not be removed.”

So once again, here’s the simple truth that is being suppressed: Frances Moore is refusing to leave after being served with a legal eviction notice — which in the opinion of many of us, is the definition of squatting.
The legal aid agencies which support her, enable malfeasance against property owners, and cause property owners enormous expense. Wanting to live in one’s own property and choose one’s tenants, is not a legal loophole, it is a legal right.


Shontay Jordan, Squatter in NYC

Shontay Jordan will not leave the apartment she got into using a Section 8 Housing Voucher, even though her voucher has expired.

See the video about the news report on this, here:

The owner is trying to evict her, but the process is extremely slow:

Lim is trying to get a housing court judge to issue an eviction order – one of the most painfully slow bureaucratic exercises in New York City.

Beth Rifkin, Squatter in San Francisco

This article tells the story of Beth Rifkin, who tried to illegally squat and remain past the end date of her Airbnb reservation without paying rent in an Airbnb host’s home in San Francisco. The host had her removed by the police, after which she obtained help from a tenant attorney in SF to try to sue the host for “illegal eviction.”

Beth Rifkin had formerly been evicted and refused to leave the property when legally required to do so, necessitating an unlawful detainer suit to extract her from the property owner’s property.

These screenshots show the very long series of court actions required to get her out of the property where she was illegally squatting.

From the date the unlawful detainer was filed on June 17 2011, it took 8 months until Beth Rifkin was removed from the premises with the writ of possession issued on February 24 2012. So she squatted for 8 months on that property.

In a separate legal action, apparently Beth Rifkin’s former roommate had sued her over a security deposit not returned.

Maksym and Denys Pashanin, Squatters in a Palm Springs Airbnb

These two individuals, Maksym Pashanin and Denys Pashanin, made the news when they booked a stay at a Palm Springs Airbnb listing, a condominium, and then refused to leave when their reservation was over.

When the owner of the condominium pressured them to leave, they threatened her saying they would be “pressing charges.”

These stories appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle;

Lori Chase and Jessica Delfino, Squatters

Lori Chase and Jessica Delfino

These two women, who were girlfriends, stayed at San Diego Airbnb host’s home, in 2015 — the stay was booked by Alfred and Sharon Chase, for their daughter Lori and her girlfriend Jessica.

Host’s first mistake was accepting a third party booking.

It began back in January, when a couple whose Airbnb profile is listed as “Alfred and Sharon” contacted Kristen Lang through the online community marketplace about her room for rent. “We are signed up for Airbnb but we are seeking a month’s stay for our daughter and her girlfriend who are moving to San Diego and will be looking for jobs,” the message began. Their intention was to pay for their daughter Lori, 38, and her girlfriend Jesse, 30, to stay for one month, in order “to help them out.” Well instead of “helping them out” it seems that perhaps the more likely story was shoveling a problem from one place to another.

Lang checked out Alfred and Sharon’s profile, and saw only positive reviews from past connections made through the site. “I thought, okay, this seems fine. .”

But it wasn’t fine, when the two women refused to leave at the end of their reservation.

Struggling to find a way to encourage the women to depart, Lang changed the Wi-Fi password, and the women “lost their minds,” she says. “They’re addicted to World of Warcraft.” In a text message to Lang, Lori wrote, “We see that you turned off access to the internet for us this morning. This is also illegal. We view your actions and conversations as hostile, please be advised that any further verbal conversation with us will be recorded via audio/video.” In a separate text, Lori also said, “We do not want to live with you, but we will exercise our rights to the full extent of the law.”


Tales from the Landlord Side