A Langley man charged with scamming people by collecting deposits to rent properties he didn’t own has pleaded guilty to multiple criminal offenses.
Jordan Lunny entered a plea of guilty to 14 fraud-related counts during an Oct. 9 court appearance in Surrey Provincial court.
Crown Counsel said Lunny will be sentenced on Feb. 19 of next year.
Back in 2019, several residents of Langley went to the RCMP after they fell victim to a suspected rental fraud scam.
Police identified and arrested a suspect, and Jordan Lunny, now 38, was charged with multiple counts of fraud over $5,000, with the alleged scams taking place between June and October of last year.
Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Largy explained the scam involved victims putting down deposits to rent a local unit, after meeting the alleged owner at a coffee shop or other nearby location.
“At least one victim told the police he had handed over the money, was told he couldn’t see the property in person because there were tenants on site who were being evicted, and then only realized the scam when he saw that the property was still available for rent,” Largy said.
His arrest was good news for Murrayville residents Lillian and Dwain Seymour, who were besieged by would-be renters preparing to move into the Langley couple’s home during that period of time.
For about a month, people would knock on the Seymour’s front door only to discover the house was not for rent.
Dwain said it has been thankfully quiet since then.
“There’s nobody moving in,” he said.
Dwain hasn’t heard whether the people who turned up on his doorstep were among Lunny’s alleged victims, but even if they aren’t, he hopes news that police were able to locate and charge a fraudster will have a deterrent effect on like-minded people.
Lunny was arrested in November, and court records note at least one instance where he failed to initially appear for a scheduled court hearing.
A warrant was issued for Lunny after he failed to appear on Jan. 31.
In May, officers learned he had relocated to Manitoba.
With the help of the Winnipeg Police Service, officers got a warrant, and Lunny was arrested on Sept. 19 and transported back to Langley.
READ MORE: Arrest in Langley rental scam
Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports this type of rent scam has been going on for several years across all provinces using ads in websites like Craigslist and Kijiji.
The agency recommends searching online for the listings before responding.
If you find the same ad being posted and located in other cities then you can be sure it’s a scam.