A man who cheated would-be renters by taking their money but not delivering on the promise of a place to live must do a year in the county jail, a judge in Tulare County has ruled.
Nicholas Vallez, 29, of Visalia, was sentenced Thursday by Judge Nathan Leedy after pleading no contest in May to felony grand theft and forgery, and misdemeanor petty theft, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said.
In August 2016, Vallez advertised on Craigslist to rent a home in north Visalia. He would meet people there for a walk through and without the owner’s permission completed rental agreements and collected money to rent the home.
When the renters tried to move in, they discovered Vallez had made rental agreements with several people. One family was from another state and had all their possession in a U-Haul and were ready to move in, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said.
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Before sentencing, Vallez was required to pay $5,000 to cover financial losses by victims. He must report to jail Dec. 27.
The District Attorney’s Office said real estate crimes can be reported to 559-636-5410