Medina man arrested in real estate scam

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MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — A Medina man has been arrested in Jackson accused of scamming a woman out of more than $15,000 through an elaborate real estate scheme. Michael Pappis, 29, is now behind bars after police said he scammed a local woman back in December, leasing her a home on Country Side Drive that he never even owned. “In actuality, she was paying rent and Pappis was just pocketing the extra funds,” Capt. Tyreece Miller with Jackson Police said. “She uncovered it after one day she received a foreclosure.” Investigators said Pappis, working under the business name “300 Properties,” had been hired by the real owners of the home to only rent the home. He was indicted in August for felony theft, but police could not track him down until Thursday, when officers said they caught up with him trying to do it all again in an undercover sting. “Basically, he tried to close the sale, and then when he pulled out his laptop to start typing up the agreement, we slapped the cuffs on him,” Miller said. To prevent something like this from happening to you, the experts said if you are looking to rent or lease a home you should do some heavy research on the company you are working with before you hand over any money. “If they’re in business, they should be known by people in these fields,” real estate broker Reggie Smith said. “You can also follow up with a professional to find out if the person you’re dealing with is legitimate.” Jackson Police said Pappis has a criminal past, driving offenses in 2012, but they suspect him of more. “We have never been able to ever really nail him down on anything, so we absolutely feel like there are other victims out there,” Miller said. Experts said they keep seeing more and more victims of costly scams like this one. “It was unheard of a few years ago,” Smith said. “But because of technology, it’s a lot easier to do now.” Pappis’ first court date has not been set. He is currently being held at the Madison County Jail. If you believe you have been a victim of Pappis, call Jackson police at (731) 425-8400.

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