Md. woman sentenced for Prince George’s Co. real estate scheme

WASHINGTON — A Maryland woman who moved into a home she didn’t own and who sold a second home she also did not own has been sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for convictions related to the property theft scheme.

Earlier this year, Qiana Johnson, 34, was convicted during two separate trials of theft greater than $100,000, burglary, producing fake documents and conspiracy to commit theft. In addition to the prison time, Johnson was also sentenced Monday to five years of supervised probation.

In a statement, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks called Johnson a “financial predator.”

“Her victims were hardworking people who were facing difficult times in their lives and Ms. Johnson decided to lie, cheat and steal to get what she wanted,” Alsobrooks said.

Johnson was accused of moving into the Cheltenham home of a family who had moved to California. When the family tried to sell the home, they learned that Johnson and her family were living there. The family filed suit to oust Johnson but she submitted a forged deed and a fake canceled down payment check in an attempt to prove that she was the rightful owner.

She also countersued the family for trying to evict her.

Prosecutors say Johnson, along with co-defendant Shamika Staggs, took ownership of an Upper Marlboro home of a woman who had died. The woman’s family turned the home over to the bank and believed it was in foreclosure. By using a forged deed, Johnson and Staggs sold the property to an investment firm, which deposited $197,000 cash into an escrow account.

Both women withdrew thousands of dollars from the account.

Staggs pleaded guilty to theft and forgery charges.

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