Former Agent Pleads Guilty to Stealing REOs' Appliances

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A former Charlotte, N.C., real estate professional pleaded guilty on Monday to stealing appliances from vacant homes. Sember Lynn Smathers, 49, may face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on charges of conspiracy to steal government property. 

According to prosecutors, Smathers used a master key to access at least one vacant HUD home per week from September 2008 to July 2009 to take appliances from the homes. Smathers is accused of stealing more than $13,000 worth of appliances from HUD homes. 

Prosecutors say that Smathers then would sell the appliances from her home or from a building that she had leased with co-conspirators.

Source: "Feds: Former county real estate agent stole, sold home appliances," Shelby Star (Cleveland County, N.C.) (Aug. 27, 2013)

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