The Region

A man accused of renting out houses to which he had obtained temporary deeds by means of fraud was arrested in Anaheim on suspicion of grand theft. Police said Jeffrey Starkey, 32, gave financially troubled homeowners in La Verne, Diamond Bar, La Mirada and Northridge promissory notes in return for the deeds to houses they were about to lose through foreclosure, used his temporary ownership rights to collect as much as six months rent in advance from new tenants--and then forfeited his claim by defaulting on the notes and allowing foreclosure to go ahead. He was finally arrested by La Verne police officers who waited for him at an answering service where he picked up messages.

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