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Troopers: Schenectady man charged in rental scam

Troopers: Schenectady man charged in rental scam

Man reposted rental information, with option to buy

CLIFTON PARK -- A Schenectady man defrauded an area resident out of $9,000 using a rental scam, state police said.

Justin A. McNeal, 33, faces one count of third-degree grand larceny after he advertised a rental property on Facebook that included an option to buy the home, state police said. He took the rental information from another website and reposted it, adding the buy-option himself, police said.

He then took money from a renter and only relayed a portion to the property owner, police said.

"The renter was deceived into thinking that all the money he provided was going to the lessee as part of the rent and down payment on the home, if he chose to purchase it," state police said in a prepared statement. "The lessee later advised that he never put the house up for rent with the option to buy and was only provided a portion of the money that the renter provided."

McNeal, who also goes by the name of Rexx McNeal, claimed to work for a company called Affordable 518 Homes LLC. A phone number on a company's website with that name went to voicemail Thursday. A message was not immediately returned.

McNeal reposted the ad to the Affordable 518 Homes Facebook page, state police said. That page on Thursday appeared not to have been updated since June and only once this year.

McNeal was arraigned in Clifton Park Town Court and remains in custody. He is to return to court next month.

State police are asking anyone with similar interactions with Justin McNeal, Rexx McNeal or Affordable 518 Homes LLC to contact troopers or their local police agency.

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