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Police: Fake lease used by trespassers illegally living in Clinton, Maryland home

Michael Quinn is being charged with fourth-degree burglary and faces three years in prison if convicted.

CLINTON, Md. — A man accused of moving into a Clinton, Maryland home he didn't own and refusing to leave, claiming he had a lease, is now facing burglary charges. Court documents revealed that that the lease he was touting was fake. 

The battle began when a Prince George's County couple drove by the house they were in the process of purchasing in October and noticed a U-Haul in the driveway and people moving into the home. The people moving in alleged they had signed a lease to rent out the house, and showed the couple a copy of a lease between a man named Michael Quinn and the previous owner. 

Now, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy says her office has charged Quinn with fourth-degree burglary for signing a lease to a home someone else owns. He faces three years in prison if convicted.

Charging documents obtained by WUSA9 show detectives believe this isn’t his first time he’s been accused of being involved in something like this. According to the court documents, the previous owner and Quinn had never met. Quinn was using the previous owner's name after she vacated the property, the documents say.

Braveboy said in cases like this, a person could face a plethora of other charges, including trespassing and malicious destruction of property. 

"Oftentimes, there is some type of property being destroyed in order to enter the property," Braveboy said. 

By allegedly creating a fake lease, Quinn also opened himelf up to fraud and identity theft. 

The buying agent, Melea King of the Home Team Realty Group, said she was eventually able to recover the house. 

"My clients decided not to move forward, but I was able to get another buyer to kind of move forward with the property," she said. "So, we recovered and we closed on the property." 

In her everyday life as a realtor, King is advising her colleagues to take additional safety measures.

“My suggestion is really maintain the property," she said. "Visit the property, put security in there if you can and make sure that the owner of that property is aware of what's going on around the city." 

Braveboy suggests owners and realtors have to work closely together if one party is out of state or town. 

“Realtors are representatives of owners, and they don't have full legal authority that owners have to remove people from properties," Braveboy said. "So, it's really important that the owner of the property participate in getting these individuals out of their property." 

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