In late 2010, a Baltimore man and an alleged accomplice advertised to people with poor or no credit so that they could enter a rent-to-own car program. In reality, the perpetrators were renting the cars for the victims for a few days and taking their down payments.
Lamondes Williams and Erica Brown told their victims that if they made a down payment of up to $5,000 with $500 monthly payments to continue the program, they would be able to own the car. All fees were paid to Williams in cash.
Williams would take the victims to car rental agencies to pick up rental cars on their behalf, and then have the victims sign what they believed to be long-term leases with options to buy. They were actually only renting cars for a couple of days.
When the contracts were up, the rental car agencies went after the victims to collect the cars and late fees. At that point, the organizers of the scam were no longer available. Williams allegedly perpetrated the scam on as many as 1,500 people, according to a Baltimore Sun report.
Victims were taken to Enterprise locations within the Baltimore area to rent the cars. The employees at these locations were unaware that Williams was including them in his scam.
In 2005, Williams was convicted of a similar scam dealing with apartment leases.