Local News

New nugget from renters scam investigation

Adverse possession paperwork

Squatters Rights investigation follow up

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - Very rare pieces of paperwork are at the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder.  Two men are suspects being linked to a rental scam investigation and now being connected to two affidavits of adverse possession. It's an investigation I first told you about last week after victims came forward and talked with me about it.  

The names and signatures of suspected scammers, Ethan Eaton and Bryan Jensen are on the affidavits.  Adverse Possession is a real estate term which roughly means you can move into an abandoned not just vacant property and pay back taxes on the property.  In our state,  the time period  to be able to claim the property, if all the conditions are met is 18 years.  That's why this paperwork is so rare.  Many of us know this kind of adverse possession as squatters rights. 

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams showed me the paperwork and told me when it comes to using adverse possession in the scam that Police are investigating in Colorado Springs and Fountain, "It probably negates the claim of legitimate adverse possession because you have to do it under good faith under Colorado law." 

Williams told me these two filings of adverse possession are the only two he has seen since becoming Clerk and Recorder.  He also told me, "For me my home is my most valuable possession.  For someone to try and claim it as their own when it is mine is very troubling to me." 

The victims of this scam tell me the suspects had keys to the locks on these homes.  They were vacant not abandoned and owned by someone else.  The suspects rented them out and also showed the unsuspecting victims, paperwork for adverse possession to give them hope that they could one day have this property. 

If you know something about this investigation, call Colorado Springs and Fountain Police. 

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