Another family confirms they were victimized in West Shore rental scam
Help is trickling in for victims caught in a Vancouver Island rental scam, but there’s still no solution in sight for at least three families.
Jessica Wilson has three school-aged children, but after being scammed out of $1,900 by a man using the alias Jason LeBlanc, she has been forced to stay in a small trailer in the driveway of a friend in Langford. It’s tight quarters for a family of four.
“It’s hard seeing my kids cry. It’s hard seeing my kids so broken,” said Wilson. A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family, reaching $850 as of Friday afternoon.
Melissa Hyland is also a single mother and says her family fell for the same scam.
“It’s taken me almost a month to gather together the pet deposit, damage deposit and first month’s rent,” says Hyland, who works two jobs and says she’s going to sell some possessions to save for another damage deposit. “I’ve got a scooter I can sell so I’m going to be selling that this weekend.”
A GoFundMe has also been set up for Hyland and her sons, raising $1,100 in under a day.
CTV News has learned of a third victim of the scam, who asked not to have her name published. She too is a single mom with two children.
She told CTV News she met with the man posing as the homeowner five times before sending the damage deposit. She said she was "shocked" that it turned out to be a scam.
The woman says she believes she was one of the last ones to know about the scam and hasn't filed a police report yet because she's been busy working. She and her family are now staying with friends temporarily while they look for another home.
West Shore RCMP is asking for the public's help in locating the man posing as Jason LeBlanc.
He was a tenant at a home on Pickford Avenue in Langford and posted the home for rent online without the knowledge or consent of the home’s actual owner.
He then signed lease agreements and collected deposits from several families before disappearing. He was last seen by the homeowner last Thursday.
Wilson and the homeowner confirmed through photos that LebBanc is actually Jeremy Oakley, a notorious fraudster charged with several crimes, from sexual assault to theft, since 2003.
On Monay, RCMP confirmed that Jeremy Oakley was convicted of sexual assault in March 2009, stemming from charges laid in 2003 in Nanaimo. According to media reports, Oakley allegedly faked his own death and the charges were stayed, but RCMP said he was eventually convicted years later when he was found to be alive.
Anyone with information on Jeremy Oakley or a man posing as Jason LeBlanc is asked to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264.