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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rachael Smith, Accused Craigslist Apartment Scammer, Makes Court Date. But Next Time?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge By next month, Rachael Smith could be facing more than 20 grand theft charges...wherever she is
  • By next month, Rachael Smith could be facing more than 20 grand theft charges...wherever she is
You may recall a spate of stories about Rachael Smith, the woman accused of recreating the scheme Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom pulled in The Producers and allegedly bilking scores of would-be renters into paying $5,100 to move into the same Richmond District flat.

Bialystock and Bloom hoped to take the money and run to Rio -- and the masses who claim Smith stole their money expected her to pretty much do the same. And yet, at 9 a.m. on Sept. 1, Smith showed up at the Hall of Justice for her court date. Inspector John Monroe of the San Francisco Police Department, said he wasn't surprised. But he's not sure she'll be there next time.

The case was yesterday held over until Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. Should she deign to show up, that doesn't figure to be a pleasant day for Smith, who is charged with pocketing more than $100,000.

Monroe said he plans to introduce "15 or 16" additional grand theft charges to go with the original four that got Smith arrested. That means she'll be re-arrested, face bail of perhaps $300,000 or more, and could even be remanded into custody.

Smith was originally facing $150,000 bail -- but managed to walk out of the courtroom without paying a dime because her lack of a criminal record, deep roots in the community, and ostensible low flight risk qualified her to be released on her own recognizance ("ROR"). During yesterday's hearing, Smith's attorney noted she is now living in Los Angeles.

Monroe says he's tracked down 18 or 19 victims to go along with the original four complainants. "We've pretty much done all our homework," he says. "There may be a couple of victims out there still."

Also out there is the alleged victims' money. Asked where it might be, Monroe is forced to admit he doesn't yet know.

"That's a good question," he says. "If you find out, let me know."

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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