Lisa Smith of Philadelphia and her son Kristian “Frank” Edmonds allegedly bilked South Jersey residents out of nearly $50,000 in false deals. More victims may be out there.
By Matt Skoufalos
A Philadelphia woman whose real estate broker privileges were revoked for life in 2010 has been charged with scamming more than 20 people in false property deals in the past year, and authorities believe more victims may exist.
Lisa Smith, 51, a.k.a, Lisa Edmonds, faces three counts of theft by deception for allegedly having taken some $48,500 from victims in the tri-county area who attempted to buy or rent properties in Camden, Woodlynne, Sicklerville, and Winslow, according to a statement from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office (CCPO).
Her son Kristian “Frank” Edmonds, 28, of Sicklerville, was charged with one count of third-degree burglary “for allegedly entering a foreclosed home in Winslow without permission and posing as a realtor,” the statement reads.
Smith and Edmonds are alleged to have illegally accessed foreclosed properties with real estate lockbox keys or by having the properties re-keyed, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“In some incidents, the utilities were unlawfully turned back on and winterization stickers were scraped off,” the statement notes. “Some victims reported learning the plumbing had been removed only after moving in.”
Smith’s warrants are outstanding, and total $40,000, according to CCPO spokesman Andy McNeil—$10,000 each for the cases in Collingswood and $20,000 for the case in Winslow.
Smith and Edmonds operated as:
- Sterling Realty Investments of Philadelphia
- REQ (Real Estate Queens) Realtors of Turnersville
- Angel Home Savers, LLC, of Collingswood
- Breeze Capital Consulting Group, LLC, of Collingswood
Authorities report that the licensing for Sterling Realty Investments was revoked in 2009 for failing to file reports; REQ Realtors allegedly never filed any state documents.
Camden County Prosecutor’s Office Detective Grace Clodfelter is seeking additional potential victims in the case. Those with information are asked to call (856) 225-8479 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Some victims initially responded to real estate ads on Craigslist and were then shown additional properties after meeting with the suspects, McNeil said.
All persons charged with criminal offenses are innocent unless and until convicted in a court of law.