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Florida men charged for allegedly stealing Michigan rent payments

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(The Center Square) — The Midland County Prosecutor’s Office filed charges against Florida residents Rafael Rodriguez and Juan Miguel Rodriguez-Venegas for allegedly stealing rent payments.

The two are charged for allegedly fishing money orders and cash out of drop boxes at apartment complexes and mobile home parks, cashing the money orders, and keeping the cash in 2019 and 2022.

“Michigan residents who submit their rental payments through dedicated drop boxes should be able to trust that those payments will be used for their intended purposes and not to line the pockets of criminals,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement. “I’m grateful for our partnership with J. Dee Brooks and the Midland County Prosecutors Office that will allow these defendants to be held accountable.”

Additional charges include two counts of uttering and publishing for Rodriguez and possession of burglar’s tools for Rodriguez-Venegas. Under the CCE charge, predicate acts include:

Six instances of larceny in Midland County.One instance of larceny in Bay County.Four instances of larceny in Oakland County.Two instances of larceny in Saginaw County.

Rodriguez was arraigned in Midland County on March 15, 2024, and is scheduled for a March 26 probable cause conference. Rodriguez-Venegas was arraigned on February 5 and has a Probable Cause Conference on April 9.

Both cases are before Judge Michael Carpenter in the 75th District Court.

Midland County Prosecuting Attorney J. Dee Brooks welcomed the charges.

“This is a very unusual but important case in that it involves many apparent criminal offenses in multiple jurisdictions, and we look forward to partnering with the Attorney General’s Office to address the problem with out of state actors coming into Michigan to victimize our citizens,” Brooks said in a statement.

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