Pinellas families without place to go after apartment deposits stolen

Pinellas County

Several Pinellas Park families say a leasing agent stole their deposits and tried to lease the same apartment to multiple people, and now they have no place to live.

Pinellas Park police arrested Tonya Renee Johnson, 35, on charges of scheming to defraud.

Johnson worked as the leasing manager for Parkside Commons Apartment on Park Boulevard in Pinellas Park.

Sabrina Long had planned to move into the apartments with her boyfriend and 4-month-old daughter.

“It turned out that we had the same lease for the same apartment as four or five other people to move in the same day,” said Long.

She says Johnson appeared very helpful at first.

“She acted like she was one of my best friends, I mean we even exchanged pictures of kids,” said Long.

When she signed the lease, Johnson asked Long to pay her deposit with a blank money order.

Veronica Acevedo had the same experience with Johnson.

“She stole our deposits and others families as well and now we are kind of stuck, we have no place to go,” said Acevedo.

Johnson appeared in front of a Pinellas judge Friday to hear the charges against her.

She also faced similar charges in Kentucky.

The Cambridge Management Group manages the apartment complex. They did not return repeated calls for comment.

Acevedo and Long are now worried they have no place to live and the money they used for the deposits can not be recovered.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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