Apartment People agent sues Chicago Apartment Finders

by Joe Zekas on 3/20/13

We’ve been writing about Chicago Apartment Finders, which was a charter member of our rental service do-not-call list, for over 7 years. We’ve wondered whether they posted lying reviews of a competitor. We’ve recently commented on their hiring of an agent with a criminal record and on the company’s dishonest advertising.

A tipster who wants to be known only as “a little elf” alerted us to a recently-filed and highly-amusing lawsuit against Apartment Finders Inc d/b/a Chicago Apartment Finders.

Earlier this month Robert Talamine, a leasing agent with Apartment People, filed a four-count complaint (PDF) against Apartment Finders Inc and Justin Elliot and John McGeown. Elliot and McGeown were the owner and marketing director, respectively, at the time of the incidents that are the subject of the complaint.

The current complaint is a re-filing of a lawsuit filed by Talamine against these defendants in July of 2007 and apparently decided in favor of the defendants with leave to file an amended complaint. The current complaint appears to have been stricken and the previous judgment appealed.

According to the complaint Elliot and McGeown filed a false police report in December of 2006 stating that they had witnessed Talamine slashing tires on a Chicago Apartment Finders car. Talamine was arrested and handcuffed at the Apartment People office. McGeown allegedly photographed Talamine being led away in handcuffs with an Apartment People sign in the background.

According to Talamine’s complaint all charges against him were dismissed in February of 2007.

Talamine’s current complaint alleges that McGeown, using an Apartment Finders computer, posted the following Craigslist ads on December 5, 2006 along with pictures of Talamine being arrested at his place of employment:

$650 Cozy Lakeview Studio for Rent
This beautiful studio is 8 x 8, it features an iron gate, exposed bathroom and comes equipped with a roommate. If you like to slash tires like the Apartment People agent and would like to join him, then please call the number below!
[Apartment People phone #]

$1400/2BR – Can’t Miss! Secure Building!!!!!
This multi-level, solid construction complex with impeccable door staff boasts 8×8 rooms, huge exercise yard, free cable, water and heat, food and an interesting array of neighbors. If you like to slash tires like this Apartment People leasing agent, then please feel free to call the number below.
[Apartment People phone #]

$900/1br – Lakeview Cozy 1 BR – Criminal To Miss!!!
This convertible 1 br boasts cement flooring, stainless steel free standing toilet, complementary laundry service, free wake up calls, well guarded building, weight room, and three square meals a day on the State! People are killing to get in here!!! So if you like to slash tires like the Apartment People leasing agent, please call the number below.
[Apartment People phone #]

Just another day in the rental service saga in Chicago, folks.

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