Author: Sgt. Scott Eberle
Date: May 07, 2017 9:27 AM

Fraudulent Landlord who Preyed on Immigrant Population Arrested on Fraud and Prostitution Charges

The San Rafael Police Department received information from Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California that someone was preying on the immigrant population of San Rafael. The suspect was posing as a landlord offering housing at an address on Canal Street.  When a victim called him he offered the housing in exchange for sexual acts.  He posted his advertisements in local laundromats in the Canal neighborhood under the fictitious name of "Roberto Mendez" believing the immigrant community would not report his crimes to the local police department.  

On May 5th, the San Rafael Special Operations Unit, in cooperation with Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California, conducted an undercover operation and answered one of the suspect’s advertisements.  Tifano Ariel Rodas Maldonado, a 38-year-old male from San Rafael, responded to the undercover's phone call.  During the conversation, Maldonado said that he wanted $2,000 a month and sex to rent the apartment.  He offered to pay money for sex acts tonight and said he would provide the apartment key the next morning.  

Maldonado arranged to meet the undercover officer in the Canal area where he was arrested by San Rafael Police Department' Special Operations Unit.   During the interview, Maldonado admitted that he was not affiliated with any real estate management company and he did not have any access to apartments or other housing.  He did admit to posting his advertisement numerous times over the past couple of months. 

Maldonado was arrested for Felony Fraud and Prostitution charges and booked into the Marin County Jail. 

The San Rafael Police Department wants to emphasize that anyone, regardless of their immigration status, should report crimes to us without fear of deportation.   If anyone has been the victim of similar crimes, please contact the San Rafael Police Department at 415-485-3000.

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Last Modified: May 07, 2017 12:27 EDT (by Holm)