3rd Suspect Arrested In Alleged House-Stealing Ring

Dekalb Co (WAOK)-DeKalb County deputies have made a third arrest in a ring that allegedly stole foreclosed million-dollar houses around the metro Atlanta area.

Three-weeks after being sought by deputies, prosecutors said Matthew Lowery, 27, was arrested Monday afternoon, at the Staybridge Suite hotel in Sandy Springs.

A DeKalb County grand jury indicted Lowery along with Susan Loraine Weidman on racketeering charges who they say allegedly set up an elaborate scheme to seize vacant foreclosed homes with another man.

Weidman, who prosecutors said was the ringleader, used the courts to claim squatters’ rights to put fraudulent tenants in homes in well-to-do neighborhoods such as Cumming, Sandy Springs and Decatur.

Prosecutors alleged that the ring used phony leases to ward off attempts to remove them from the homes with letters threatening litigation.

Investigators said that paperwork, computers and cell phones found in the Lowery’s hotel room could help them prove their racketeering case against the ring.

“It’s not over,” James said of the criminal investigation. “We’re looking at the information we’ve recently received during our last search warrants and we’re making a determination whether or not there are going to be more charges.”

The DeKalb prosecutors intend to use charges from all three counties to show a pattern of criminal activity. They also want to know if there are any other suspects or properties involved.

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