A bogus landlord who stole £2,300 from potential tenants after advertising the flat he rented on Gumtree is facing a prison sentence.
Edward Crawford, 37, today admitted duping several people into handing over deposits for the flat he rented from another man on St Vincent Street, Broughty Ferry.
A court heard that the crook stole the money in a bid to keep up with his own rent payments.
Crawford – who used the name “Gary Brogan” – showed his victims around the flat before accepting their deposit payments. One woman handed over a month’s rent up front.
Prosecutor Carol Doherty told Dundee Sheriff Court that Crawford had been failing to pay rent to his landlord and had also received complaints about anti-social behaviour.
She said: “Around May 2018, a male known as ‘Gary’ made an advert for the flat and that a deposit would have to be paid.
“Witnesses met with the accused and believed this was a genuine flat to be released and had agreed to rent the flat individually.
“They had put the deposit down with the accused.”
However, it later emerged that Crawford had no authority to lease the property and police later caught up with him.
Crawford, of Back Dykes, Auchtermuchty, pleaded guilty to telling the victims that he was Gary Brogan and that he was entitled to advertise and rent out a property on St Vincent Street, Broughty Ferry, and was in a position to provide the occupancy rights in exchange for the payment of money between May 16 2018 and June 23 2018.
He induced the victims to pay him a total of £2,300 that was obtained fraudulently.
The court heard that Crawford has numerous previous convictions for fraud, theft and dishonesty as well as previously spending time in custody.
Before deferring sentence for social work reports, Sheriff Lorna Drummond said: “You have pled guilty to these charges, serious charges, and you have got convictions for this sort of offending.
“It’s quite likely, in my view, that you will be sent to jail for this but I will get a report and find out what has been happening in the last couple of years.”