Charges have been filed against Henry Mascagni the former owner of the apartments and he has warrants for his arrest on two counts of false pretense. Cleveland Public Works has also filed charges against him for violation of city ordinances.
Lindsay Marter, a Delta State University graduate and Cleveland resident, recently pressed charges against Mascagni after he told her he had an apartment available despite his no longer owning the complex.
"I was going down the list of rental properties I had found on a local realtor's website and called the number. He said he had one coming up in a couple of weeks and I went and looked at it. It was really cute and it was only $600 a month with water included," said Marter.
Marter said Mascagni told her if she wanted the apartment she would have to pay the deposit that day or he would give it to someone else.
Not knowing he didn't own the apartments, Marter agreed to fill out the application and meet him to pay the deposit however, it wasn't Mascagni that met him it was a maintenance worker that claimed he had driven from Indianola.
"One of his maintenance workers met me in the Hey Joe's parking lot to get the deposit and application. I paid the $600," she said.
A few days later Marter was talking to the girl who lived in the apartment she toured and was asking if she could come see it again to show her sister who would be living with her.
"She told me they had been foreclosed on because there was no landlord. She said I should have never given that money to Henry I should have given it to the bank but I had no way of knowing that," said Marter.
State Bank and Trust owns the apartments and when Marter called she was given bad news.
"I called the bank and they said I needed to try to get my money back. They told me 'any deal you have with Henry Mascagni is no deal at all,'" said Marter.
It was then Marter when to the Cleveland Police Department and pressed charges against Mascagni.
"It's a $600 lesson learned," she said.
State Bank and Trust now owns the properties and residents are paying their rent to the bank, however they declined to comment due to the case being processed in court.
According to the Enterprise Tocsin newspaper in Indianola, Mascagni is in the same type of trouble there with a rental property.
The Bolivar Commercial will have more as the story develops.