MID-CITY (CBSLA) — A Mid-City property manager got more than he bargained for when he decided to help a man he thought was down on his luck.
“The more I found out, the more it kind of set in, and I realized that I was dealing with a professional scammer,” Christian Palencia said.READ MORE: 'It's Heartbreaking': ArcLight Cinemas, Pacific Theatres Closing Permanently Due To Pandemic Losses
Palencia thought he was doing a good deed when he befriended Jeremy Foreman at a hostel he helps run. Palencia said after listening to all the work Foreman claimed to have done with charity organizations, he felt bad when he learned that Foreman had nowhere to go.
“I figured I’d help him and get his feet underneath him,” Palencia said.
He offered Foreman a room to rent at a home in Mid-City where Palencia, who is also the manager, lives. Foreman signed a month-to-month lease in March, agreeing to pay the $1,200 rent.
“He did pay me in the beginning,” Palencia said. “It was usually late, but I came into this knowing that he needed some time, and we would work together. And then it would come in parts, and then it didn’t come anymore.”
According to Palencia, Foreman is behind $6,000 on rent and has refused to leave. Making matters worse is that Foreman is not who he said he is.READ MORE: 'We Are Seeing Our Economy Come Back To Life': Study Shows That Consumer Confidence In OC Is On The Rise As Residents Brace For Light At The End Of The Tunnel
“I decided to do a little bit of due diligence on his charity work, and I found out that he is a conman,” Palencia said.
According to authorities in Georgia, Foreman was accused in 2014 of stealing $1,800 from a charity that feeds families around the holidays. Authorities said he has already been indicted and could be arrested — if he didn’t live in California.
“This case is flagged as a Georgia or surrounding states arrest,” Deputy Chief Rob Bryan, of the Statesboro Police Department, said. “It is definitely a case that I would like to see closed. I think it’s despicable when a charity gets taken advantage of like this.”
Back in Los Angeles, Foreman declined a request for an interview.
Palencia said he filed eviction forms, but a judge ruled Foreman could not be removed from the property due to the pandemic eviction moratorium.
“Until then, he is free to just live in my home with no concerns or anything,” Palencia said.MORE NEWS: 2 Men Hospitalized After Large Explosion At Valley Glen Home, Investigation Ongoing
Palencia said he offered to let Foreman stay in the hostel, but said Foreman declined the offer. As for the eviction process, it could go until October because Foreman has asked for a jury trial. A request for comment from Foreman’s attorney was not immediately confirmed.