Woman Convicted of Trying to Steal Home With Forged Documents

A woman was convicted Monday for breaking into a vacant Maryland home and living there, and even trying to sue the rightful owners after they disputed forged documents that claimed the house was hers.

Prosecutors in Prince George's County say that in early 2013, Qiana Johnson broke into a home in Cheltenham, Maryland, and began living there after the owners moved to California.

When the owners tried to sell the house, they discovered that Johnson and her family were already living there.

Prosecutors say the owners filed a civil suit to try to get her evicted, but Johnson produced a forged contract and deed, and a fake cancelled check to make it appear as though she'd bought the house from them.

Johnson then filed a civil suit against the rightful owners for trying to evict her.

On Monday, she was convicted of theft over $100,000, second- and fourth-degree burglary, uttering and false entry into public record.

"Ms. Johnson took advantage of a family by not only stealing their home, but presenting fake documents in court to prevent the family from evicting her," said Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks. "The family had to spend a considerable amount of money flying back and forth from California to try and have her evicted, as well as defending the phony civil suit against them."

Johnson will be sentenced March 26. She faces up to 69 years in prison.

Authorities say Johnson was a co-conspirator of Shannon Lee, who rented out foreclosed homes she didn't own.

In August, Lee was sentenced for submitting false invoices and second-degree burglary of another Cheltenham home. She received 20 years in prison, suspend all but six months, with five years of probation.

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