WPSO: Real estate scam lands St. Tammany man in jail

Published 3:31 pm Monday, July 23, 2018

Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives recently investigated complaints of land sales on social media websites and Craigslist by a person who did not own the listed property, according to WPSO Chief Deputy Mike Haley.

After a thorough investigation, detectives arrested Ryan Skler Crain, 29, a resident of Lam Road in Covington, on Wednesday, July 18. Crain was placed in the Washington Parish Jail and charged with multiple counts of theft. As of Monday, he remained in jail with his bond set at $3,250.

Haley said that Crain impersonated various land owners and provided sales documents that appeared to be legitimate. The purchasers learned of the scam after contacting the Washington Parish Clerk of Court and obtaining facts about the land, which was not in Crain’s name and was not for sale. As it turned out, Crain’s story that he was a military veteran was also false, Haley said.

Haley said that the investigation was hampered by the fact that Crain used different aliases to commit his crimes. In addition to his actual name, Crain also reportedly used the names of Eddie Morris, Edward Stride and Edward Stang. That, plus the fact that he was a resident of St. Tammany Parish, but committed his crimes in Washington Parish, made the investigation more difficult. Detectives persevered, though, and were able to identify, locate and arrest Crain.

In addition to Crain’s three victims, it is suspected that there may be other victims. If any other persons have been victimized by Crain, they are asked to contact WPSO Det. Captain Tom Anderson at (985) 839-3434, extension 2059.

“This scoundrel thought he was being coy and covering his tracks with the use of various aliases,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “It slowed us down for a while, but our detectives never gave up and eventually sorted out all of the details, identified Crain, and made the arrest. Good job, detectives and thank you, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, for helping us locate Crain.”