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Hearing scheduled for squatters in luxury home

As Maryland residents may know, an incident involving squatters on Aug. 30, 2014, led to the arrest of a man after he moved his family into a house he did not own. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 in Montgomery County to address multiple charges against the man.

According to papers filed at court, the owner of the house arrived to find a man and his family unpacking their personal belongings from a truck at the home. The owner phoned the police after confronting them. The individual told officers that the house had been bought by a consulting firm he worked for in Columbia but was unable to provide documents or a key to the home. The family was forced to leave the following day by police. According to reports, the family rents a small home in Kensington.

The family that moved into the home included the husband, wife, three children and the family dog. The house was reportedly harmed during the stay by the alleged squatters, and the bills to repair damage were estimated to be about $1,000.

On Feb. 5, the individual was indicted on seven counts by a grand jury, according to a representative of the state's attorney's office. The charges include felony theft, first-degree burglary and fraud. Allegedly, the man was previously involved with the law in California. In November 2013, he was ordered by a court to pay $1.5 million for misrepresentation and solicitation fraud.

As in this case, individuals facing felony charges for an alleged crime may benefit by consulting with an attorney experienced in criminal defense. An attorney may review the evidence and police reports before attempting to mount a defense. In addition, the attorney may structure a plea agreement to lower charges and penalties.

Source: WJLA, "Police: Squatters invade $1M Bethesda house, caught by homeowner during move-in," Kevin Lewis, Feb. 7, 2015

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