John Kaipaka, Serial Squatter, Destroys Apartment, Causing over $20k in Damage

John Kaipaka is a serial squatter who has done massive damage to at least one apartment.

In October 2013, an Oakland landlord who had an apartment building, rented a studio apartment there to John Kaipaka, who was being sponsored by a Berkeley agency called Shelter Plus Care, which helps chronically homeless people by providing them subsidies to obtain housing. After moving into the premises, John Kaipaka gradually destroyed the whole apartment, apparently stealing parts of it (fixtures) and selling them. He removed half the ceiling, disconnected the plumbing and flooded the apartment (which later caused mold damage). Even the toilet and sink were removed by John and sold off, apparently to feed his methamphetamine addiction, says a source who knew him personally.

John Kaipaka:

Even though she became aware of the destruction of her premises in summer 2014, and filed an unlawful detainer suit in August 2014, it was not until 7 months later in March 2015 when the Oakland landlord was finally able to get him out of her property. This delay in the eviction process was caused by the East Bay Community Law Center, which gives “help” to low-income tenants, including, apparently, criminals and serial squatters. The apartment was a complete loss and she had over $20,000 in property damage as well as attorney and court fees.

It was later discovered that John Kaipaka had been evicted 7 times previously as there were 7 previous unlawful detainer lawsuits filed against John Kaipaka.

He also had criminal charges, as found on court records.

In sum — John Kaipaka, who was a low income tenant and thus recieved free legal aid, was enabled by the East Bay Community Law Center and other agencies to effectively steal 3.5 years of rent/accomodations from 8 different landlords.

The entire story is told here:

He removed half the ceiling from the apartment:

removed the flooring from the bathroom, removed toilet and put a broken toilet in its place: (etc)

Missionary-Tracey Elaine Blair, Squatter in Detroit

A homeowner was away from her house for several months, and when she came back, there was someone living in her house, who refused to leave. This someone was “Missionary-Tracey Elaine Blair”

Bizarrely, and in another example of the horrendous laws that give not only malicious tenants but also squatters far too many “rights”, the homeowner was not allowed to have the squatter removed!

A squatter doesn’t have a legal right to the property, but under the law the homeowner cannot remove a squatter by force. In most cases, the homeowner has to file a civil action in court, prove it’s their property and evict the squatter. That is what Peterson is now attempting to do.

Since Peterson has spent all of her money on the house, she said she can’t afford to go anywhere else, and so until she can legally kick the woman out, they are forced to live under the same roof.

How tragically ridiculous that anyone would have to file a court action to “prove” that their property is their own property.

2nd article about this situation:

“Missionary Tracey Elaine Blair” — a malicious squatter:

However, some new laws have been passed to help protect property owners in Detroit, after squatting became particularly problematic there.

See this article about 2 new laws passed in 2014:

The new laws:

1. HB 5069/PA 223 amends the revised judicature act to allow a landlord to use force (but not including assault) and self-help when recovering possession of premises from a person who came into possession by trespass (squatting).
Translation: Previously, an eviction action (unlawful detainer) had to be filed in court to remove all occupants even if they did not have a valid lease. Now, for occupants who are there illegally or as a result of trespassing the landlord can use “self-help” to remove the sqautters. (This does not apply to residents that had a lease that has expired). This allows the landlord to change the locks and remove items belonging to the residents. Physically removing a person is not allowed as that is technically assault. However, combined with the other new laws that make squatting a crime, you could have a squatter arrested by the police.

2. HB 5070/PA 224 makes squatting in a single family house or a duplex a misdemeanor for the first offense, with a $5,000 maximum fine and 180 day maximum sentence; and a felony for second and subsequent offenses, with a $10,000 maximum fine and a 2 year maximum sentence.
Translation: This is a new law. Squatting was not a crime before, other than trespassing, and in fact, Michigan also has a law allowing adverse possession, otherwise known as “squatters rights.” Previously the real owner had to file charges for trespassing.

3. HB 5071/PA 225 identifies the felony for second and subsequent squatting offenses as a class G felony with a 2 year maximum sentence.
Translation:A legal expert at the city explains that that this law is tougher, but not to expect many more convictions. “For the most part most squatters are doing it because they need to. However, I think it will make it much easier for property owners to take over foreclosures and auction properties if they don’t have to proceed through the whole eviction process for every new property they acquire.”

HEre is a video about some freeloader squatters who just “grabbed” an abandoned house and started living there:

Jesse Gubb: Serial Illegal Subletting, Turning Homes into Hostels

Jesse Gubb claimed that he wanted to rent out the beautiful Toronto home for himself and his family. But once he moved in, he began his real career as a serial fraudster. He began turning the home into a hostel, illegally subletting space and cramming 20 to 25 people into the 4 bedroom home.

“It was horrifying,” says Verma. “I barely recognized it as my own home. Walls had been put up everywhere. We couldn’t tell which room was which. The basement, which had been renovated the year before, was unrecognizable.”

Since 2013, he has fraudulently secured leases for at least four houses and rented them out to as many people as he could squeeze in. Based on his Lakeview earnings, multiplied by four houses, he would have been raking in roughly $200,000 a year.

See the articles:

Mike Lemke, Scammer and Bully in Toronto

Mike Lemke is a serial scammer.

As reported in the article on the CBC news, this Toronto man has engaged in numerous rental scams in a certain trendy downtown neighbourhood of Toronto, where he has allegedly ripped off multiple landlords and prospective roommates for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent and cash deposits.

Mike Lemke, 33, allegedly used fake references to rent three high-end Liberty Village condos, only to stop paying rent shortly after moving in.

Landlords say that, when confronted, Lemke was evasive and aggressive, remaining in the condos for months as the eviction process moved through the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario.

In at least one case, during the eviction process, Lemke also engaged in illegal subletting. he advertised a bedroom for rent in the unit — without permission — and allegedly took cash deposits from interested renters, only to tell them the room was no longer available just days before the move-in date.

In at least one case the deposit, which exceeded $2,000, has not been returned to the interested renter.

Two of Lemke’s former landlords put up posters of him in the area in an attempt to gather more information.[/quote]

Heather and William Schwab, Serial Squatters

Heather and William Eric Schwab are serial squatters in Texas, who had been evicted at least 14 times previously when they rented Kristine Reddicks’ house.

Consumer Justice: ‘Serial Squatters’ Cost Homeowners Thousands

Reddick is a realtor and relocation expert who regularly runs background and credit checks. She said everything on the Schwabs’ application checked out, from salary to rental history. However, once they moved in, the rent check bounced and the excuses started.

“Can’t talk, Williams’ grandmother died, CPS is coming over… I got fired at my job for personal phone calls,” said Reddick. “You can only go so far with a story — and I was born at night but not last night.”

Reddick had no idea the Schwabs had been evicted before. However, Tarrant County court records show that William and Heather were evicted at least 14 times before moving into Reddick’s home. Former landlords said they use fake information to move in with their children and pets, then work the system as long as possible without paying.

Schwabs squatters

IN other words, like so many serial squatters, these malicious people are abusing a court system that is deeply flawed, which allows criminals to continue stealing accomodations from people while working the system and slowing down the process which landlords need to go through to legally evict anyone.

This news video says the Schwabs have racked up at least 20 evictions:

This article says there have been 20 evictions of them since 2005, and that property owners want to know — why is this not a crime!?!??

Actually the Schwab case has been so extreme and egregious, that a Texas lawmaker has begun attempting to see what can be done to criminalize this type of behavior. FINALLY!! It seems to take forever to get something reasonable done about these very insane and outrageously unjust situations.

Some good news at long last on the notorious Schwabs…they are getting their come-uppance. Heather Schwab was arrested on charges of felony theft in May 2018, as reported in this article. She is reportedly facing multiple felony charges.

Schwab charged with felonies

As well, her husband William Schwab has been charged with sexual assault, and was put in jail, as reported here. It appears that Miss Karma has finally caught up with this dastardly duo.

Mark Newton, Squatting and Scamming Landlords for 19 Years

Mark Newton appears in court dressed to the nines, as if he is an attorney.  He’s not an attorney, but he knows the law well, which has assisted him in his 19 year history of squatting and using a variety of legal strategies to avoid paying rent, while also delaying eviction, thus causing landlords much more expense, stress and time and energy to try to evict him.  Look at his face, and remember it.  You never want to rent a place to this man.

Search widely online, and you will hardly find a better example of a serial scammer and squatter, as well as a better example of how badly the “justice system” runs, that someone can so easily abuse it, and avoid eviction simply by filing so many complaints, motions, appeals,

Mark Newton squatter 2

and playing the system for all it’s worth.

From the article:

Interviews with landlords and neighbors and an examination of court documents reveal a man waging an almost continual war of attrition, fighting one eviction after another for years on end, filing lawsuits, complaints, subpoenas, asking for judge recusals and seeking postponements. He sometimes has many cases going at the same time in different courts, always acting pro se, meaning he is his own “lawyer.”

The Newton system, according to court documents and dozens of interviews with adversaries, goes something like this: The 51-year old Newark man moves his family into an apartment or house, and soon stops paying rent. He then complains about unsavory living conditions that, landlords say, he himself created. At some point, his attack escalates and conditions in the rented apartment or house
worsen, lawyers and landlords say. Newton continues to complain. Next, lawyers and landlords say, he calls code enforcement and accuses landlords of renting substandard housing.

From there, the legal battle is on.

Records from landlord- tenant court show he and his wife have fought at least seven evictions, filing 113 complaints against landlords, neighbors and others in Newark municipal court — some of them multiple complaints against the same person.

What’s more, according to Superior Court records, Newton defends himself at little or no cost because he applies for — and is granted — indigent status, meaning he doesn’t have to pay to file law complaints that cost $200 a pop and fees associated with his defense.

Methods to Screen out Bad Tenants

Property owners should do some form of background check before renting to tenants.  Beware that simply asking prospective tenants to list past employers and past landlords, and/or provide references, may not be helpful.  Prospective tenants can easily lie and put their friends’ names and contact information down as past employers and landlords.  So do a little more screening to protect yourself.

There are several background check agencies, such as My Smart Move, and Tenant Background Search, or My Rental, or Rentec Direct, or Tenant Verification, or through American Apartment Owners Association, as well as credit checks through Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion, or — several of the background check services also offer credit checks, for instance My Smart Move. 

There is information about how to do credit checks available from Nolo Press here.

After checking rental history and credit, you would be well advised to check civil and criminal court records in the areas where the prospective tenant has lived, to look for eviction records and/or any criminal history.

There is an organization called “Do Not Rent To” that keeps a bad tenant database. You can find it here:

The sites’ purpose is stated this way:

This site was created to help landlords determine if a potential renter is a suitable candidate for their property. As landlords we always take risks when renting our properties. However, these risks can be minimized by allowing us to see if a potential renter has been added to the do not rent to list of bad tenants. As landlords we’re obligated to inform other landlords of the problems we have encountered when renting our properties to certain tenants.

However, the site charges landlords $29.99 a year, and it’s not clear how useful the site would be for instance if there are a limited number of landlords and the site only contains a few hundred tenant names, or tenants from only certain parts of the world.  But the idea has use if it could catch on and become a large enough database.

Elizabeth Anne Critchley, Squatter who put Landlord out of Business

Elizabeth Anne Critchley — aka Betty Drake, Elizabeth Anne Drake

The length and slowness of the eviction process made this landlord’s situation much, much worse. This points to need for reform in the eviction process.

Landlord Jim Johnson had to fight for many months to try to evict a woman who turned out to be a career criminal from his rental property after she continually failed to pay rent.

At the end of the process, Johnson was out $12,000 in rent — and swindled out of tens of thousands of dollars more, he says — after leasing his half duplex in Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada to Elizabeth Anne Critchley in December 2016.

Johnson, who has been a landlord for 40 years, says he felt he did his due diligence when he accepted Critchley as a tenant — checking her references and getting everything in writing.

But what he didn’t do was a criminal record check. What he didn’t know is Critchley — who Go Public found also goes by Betty Drake, Betty Burns and Elizabeth Anne Drake — has a criminal record that dates back more than 25 years and includes more than 120 convictions, many of them for fraud in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Ontario.

“To say we’re financially destroyed is an understatement,” he says.

Johnson says the problems were only compounded by delays in the process to evict Critchley.

He says the system moved so slowly, it allowed her to live in his duplex for three more months without paying a cent.

“The tenancy board, in my opinion, takes care of the tenants and the landlords are on their own.”

Living for free, more crimes occur —-

While Johnson waited for his case to wind its way through the residential tenancy system, Critchley was renting out his duplex as her own.

Tanya Gerrard said she gave almost $1,100 to Critchley, who she knew as Betty Drake, when she answered a rental ad for half a duplex.

Lise Winicki, Serial Scammer

Lise Winicki has scammed many people in the Los Angeles area, generally  by staying at their homes and never paying the rent due.  It seems that she strings people along by giving people a check that bounces, then saying she is having some bank problems, and another check, and it too bounces, and on and on.

There are numerous reports about her on the site “Rip Off Reports, ” where people can write reports of scams, fraud and liars and cheats, at

Lise Winicki

The Rip Off Reports about Lise Winicki: Winicki Winicki Winicki

One of these reports reads as follows:

Hello My Decent Los Angeles Community,

Lise Winicki is never under any circumstance to be trusted.. ,,she has written me 3 bad checks now and as of this point owes me $5000.00. I am completely left in the wind by this creature and as well I had to have her removed with a witness present from the property. I wish I had looked into this early but I never thought it would come to this… I’m broke and saddened and now my living situation is in jeopardy due to this sociopath named Lise Winicki.

i received a message from Lise on the Airbnb website on February 20, 2015 asking to stay for a week maybe 2. I was planning a trip on 2-24-2015 to the high desert and have booked plenty of people over this last year through the Airbnb so I thought everything was going to be business as usual.. She wasn’t sure how long she was going to stay so agreed to pay me by check and then to pay me again on my return if she found out she was to be staying longer. ….

Report Attachments:

…… I agreed and deposited the check on 2-22-2015. It bounced. she told me a story about her card being stolen and wrote another.. It bounced later that week. I came back from the high desert and it didn’t really occur to me that she could be a scam artist. She pleaded with me that she wanted to stay longer and that the money was just late due to her having her card stolen and account being thrown into jeopardy. I chose to understand that these things happen and allowed her to write me a larger amount including the fees for the bounced checks… That was really stupid of me.. I left for an annual gathering of friends to San Francisco for about 10 days and while I was gone that check bounced… We are now 3 checks bounced and $3000.00 owed..
i returned home home with a “what the h*** is going on here” feeling. She assured me that she could have her father ———Alain Winicki- (alleged phone number)- 011 590 690 63 20 31——- wire transfer me the money overnight and she was so ” sorry to put me in such a ridiculous and crazy situation!!” he never returned my calls… In fact I don’t speak French and so I don’t even know if that is his actual number. She dragged it out and promised the transfer would come day after day after weekend after another day until I had to get a witness and go over to the apartment and make her sign a personal agreement for money owed as well as go with me to get it notarized.

as as far as I know, the money never came. BUT— she may have recieved money from someone and just decided not to pay me…

I work with people professionally every day and know how hard it can be out there in the big scary world so I have a huge heart. As of the last check for $3000.00 that I deposited and then used some of the non existent funds my bank account went into negative avaiability.

I don’t drive. I use UBER cars to get around to my clients houses. So since my return from San Francisco I have been stuck. Unable to work due to my negative bank account. I may lose clients over it.. Bottom line is I have a notarized agreement. I’ve been back and forth all over town to banks and western unions and to the apartment with witnesses present and I as of today —March 30, 2015 —had to go to the courthouse and file a claim against her. I had another party serve her the summons and then with a witness had to ask her to leave the apartment.

Upon closer inspection of me unit I discovered that not only had she gone through my things in the closet but that she was actually using my personal bathroom supplies and eaten EVERYTHING in the house, but that she left the place rearranged and messy.. She used all of my cleaning products somehow but nothing is clean.. I don’t understand. My mother who came as my witness says that she saw her smiling and laughing while she was on the phone with her lawyer…

i went beyond normal consideration ration and patience and now she is due in court on the 13th of May 2015..

my only thought is… What the h*** am I going to do in the meantime…?


I’d like to point out here, that this Los Angeles resident who was an Airbnb host, would not have ended up scammed if she had kept the transaction on the Airbnb platform.  A surprising number of Airbnb hosts get into the property rental business without knowing enough about that business.  I suspect a great many of them are tenants themselves.  They have one, two , three good guests and become complacent, thinking people are all good and everything will always go well.  But being naive or uninformed about the property rental business can be dangerous.

Simply put, one should NEVER accept roommates, paying house guests, Airbnb guests, renters or tenants without knowing enough about the property rental business.  This is a business where it is easy to be scammed if you dont’ know what you are doing.

If you’re an Airbnb host, and an Airbnb guest wants to stay with you, make them pay through the Airbnb platform.  That’s how Airbnb requires it be done anyhow — taking direct payment from them is a violation of their terms.  But too many people go with offsite payments, get scammed, and then scream about it.  Particularly if you dont’ understand how scams work, you should never go off the site and accept direct payment.

The bottom line is, you NEVER let someone into your house until you have CASHED their check.  And I mean cashed it, not deposited it.  A deposited check can bounce, and you wont’ find out until several days later.  Many experienced landlords will not take checks at all for this reason.  So if you do take checks, you should only accept a check from a local bank.  Then go to that bank (not your bank, their bank) and cash the check at their bank.  This is the only way to be sure that the check is good.

Dont’ ever “go with your heart” in the property rental business, giving someone space if they have problems with payment.  Keep it strictly business, never allow someone in your house until you’ve been paid, and you’ll be safe.  Remember the movie “Pacific Heights”?  The nightmare all began because the foolish, inexperienced new property owners allowed the nightmare tenant to move in before they had cashed his check.

18 Landlords tell “Worst Tenant” Stories

See this website/blogsite article to read about some of the worst experiences landlords have had with tenants —

In Story Number Seven, a man rented out a house, and noticed that the tenants had apparently fled.  He served eviction notice to the residence and posted it on the door for thirty days.  A week later the tenants contacted him,  asking him to put their stuff in storage.  Then when he went over to the house to check it out, he discovered that they had completely gutted the house.

Literally and truly entirely gutted the house.   They’d knocked out interior walls on each floor except the top. They’d pulled all the copper wiring out of the walls.  They had extension cords running up the stairs from the several outlets they’d wired into the breaker box. The ceiling fans were gone. The bathroom sink was gone. There copper water lines were gone.   When removing their abandoned property from the premises, the landlord was carrying a TV that was inexplicably lightweight.  After removing the back, the tenant’s drugs and some cash were discovered hidden inside.  Nightmare tenant 2

They even pulled down the kitchen cabinets that’d been newly installed before renting to them and according to one of the guys across the street who came to pick through the trash we set out, they’d sold the kitchen cabinets three months after moving in. Everyone on the block was told that they’d bought the house and was slowly remodeling.

The property owner eventually just put the house up for sale and sold it as is because he couldn’t’ afford to fix all the damage they’d done.

Tales from the Landlord Side