FREMONT — Two brothers who police say defrauded numerous landlords in a home rental scam, including lying about their backgrounds and not paying rent for months at a time, causing the landlords significant financial loss and damage to the properties, have been charged with more than 40 felony counts between them, authorities said Monday.
Both Mohammed Said Qadir, 30, and Habibullah Said Qadir, 42, are free on bail. They were charged and arrested in January.
Police said they began investigating the brothers in April 2017 after receiving information from a victimized landlord and found the suspected scams involving at least five landlords went back to 2015.
Police said the financial losses to the landlords was more than $120,000.
Police said after the brothers obtained leases for single-family houses in high-end neighborhoods in Fremont they failed to pay rent and forced the landlords to evict them while they remained in the properties rent-free for months at a time.
Police said with each landlord the brothers either alone or together, submitted false or counterfeited documentation regarding their true identities, employment and financial status in order to obtain the rentals. That included providing false names, Social Security numbers, California ID card numbers or other information that was false or belonged to other people not involved in the rentals, police said.
They also are suspected of altering their own IDs to provide false names and created false bank statements, paychecks, and credit reports to “represent an affluent financial status they did not really have,” police said in a news release.
The brothers used variations of their own names during the suspected frauds, making it difficult for the landlords to find the true information, police said. Some of the names used were Marc Mohammed, Mohammed Said, Sami Habib, and Habib Said as well as Amin or Aminullah Said and Parwin Said, police said.
Once accepted as tenants, the brothers, who police said own a local tech company and produce a popular annual cultural festival in the Bay Area, gave landlords personal or business checks to pay for rent and security deposits but in each instance the checks were returned for insufficient funds, or for accounts already closed, police said.
Police said the landlords, “were strung along with false promises” to pay outstanding rental payments, often for months at a time.
In each instance, police said, the landlords had to go through a time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly civil process to formally evict them and their families from the residences.
In each rental, police said, the brothers and their families fled the residence just before they were physically removed by authorities, sometimes, taking with them large appliances or other items that belonged to the landlords and often leaving the properties trashed.
Police said each landlord reported they could not rent their properties again until significant cleansings and repairs were done.
Police said charges against them are related to identity theft, fraud and financial crimes. They both have a criminal history, police said, including operating a food truck without a license conviction for Habibullah Qadir for which he is on probation.
Anyone with information about the brothers is asked to call Fremont police at 510-790-6900 or email Detective Boyd at Aboyd@fremont.gov.
Police: Brothers charged in Fremont rental scam