Warrant issued for accused vacation rental scammer

ELLSWORTH — The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to another alleged victim of a now-closed Blue Hill vacation rental business whose owner, police say, left town with money belonging to clients of the business.

A New York resident called the Hancock County Regional Communications Center Aug. 7 to report he had booked a vacation rental in Lamoine and had already paid the full amount to the property management company. However, he could not reach anyone from the business by phone or email.

“The caller feels that the person may have stolen their money and they [would] have no place to stay when they were due to come to Maine on Aug. 14,” said Lt. Corey Bagley, who is the lead investigator on the case. “I spoke with the caller and advised them that we have had several other similar cases involving the same property management company and the chances are very good that the rental that they had planned on staying at was not going to be available to them.”

“Luckily they thought something was up when they could not get a hold of anyone the week before and were able to scramble and find alternative arrangements,” the lieutenant said. “There were other people at the house already.”

Bagley said this is at least the 11th alleged victim of the business owner.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the Blue Hill business owner, but authorities have not found her. It is thought that she moved out of the area several months ago. The arrest warrant affidavit has been sealed.

“We’re still looking for her,” Bagley said.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.