NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- A Western New York man convicted of scamming people out of tens of thousands of dollars is now accused of running a new scheme.
Joseph Lloyd, who last year was sentenced to weekends in jail for four months, owns the home at 1084 100th Street in Niagara Falls. He has posted the home for rent on Craigslist multiple times over the past few months.
Emily Gonzales responded to the ad in September and eventually paid a $1,000 security deposit.
"Once we gave him some cash, it was harder to get a hold of him and secure a move-in date," Emily said.
She showed 2 On Your Side many texts messages, in which Lloyd kept delaying a move-in. When she asked for her money back, he further delayed. She never retrieved any of it.
Corrin and Shawn Parris went through a similar situation.
They have two kids, and Corrin is 7 months pregnant. They paid Lloyd $1,750 in a security deposit and first month's rent. But when they showed up with a UHaul on December 23, Lloyd said the house wasn't ready.
"You left us homeless on Christmas," Corrin said. "Like that's just scumbag of the Earth."
They were especially upset when they found out the house has been foreclosed and is scheduled to be sold at auction on Jan. 9.
They haven't received any of their money back.
2 On Your Side talked with Lloyd several times by phone. He admitted that he owes the money and insisted he would pay everyone back "within a week or two." He denied he's scamming anyone.
He insisted his plan is to find tenants to move in, and once he's getting rental income, he will file for bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure.
However, 2 On Your Side talked with a third person, Shannon Dykstra, who also paid Lloyd a $1,000 security deposit to move into the house. She was scheduled to start her lease on December 24, a day after the Parris family was to initially move in.
"It's nothing more than a scam," Corrin said.
Neighbors are outraged at Lloyd, who has been cited several times by the city for not maintaining his property.
When Kathleen Birch found out what was happening, she started taking action. Anytime she saw potential tenants outside Lloyd's house, she would run across the street and warn them "to run".
"Every person I have stopped from renting the house brings me a level of comfort," she said.
John Justyk lives right next to Lloyd's house.
"Something's got to happen to this guy," John said. "I mean, you just can't keep doing what you're doing, doing what you're doing."
A source confirmed to 2 On Your Side that members of law enforcement are aware of these allegations, and while lease and contract matters are normally handled in civil court, a potential criminal investigation is underway. 2 On Your Side will keep you updated.