Tuesday, March 5 2013 7:57 PM EST2013-03-06 00:57:47 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Investigators say a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen is squatting in a foreclosed home valued at about $3 million. Police and bank representatives showed up at the house on the 600 block ofMore >>
Investigators say a self-proclaimed sovereign citizen is squatting in a foreclosed home valued at about $3 million.More >>
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - Unwanted guests are still occupying a $3 million mansion in East Memphis.
One of the squatters goes by the name Abka Re Bey, but her given name is Tabitha Gentry.
Action News 5 pulled a mugshot from October when she was accused of assaulting two police officers.
The charges were not prosecuted. The addresses listed on her arrest records all lead to places she no longer resides.
But a neighbor on 3156 Cromwell said Gentry, or Re Bey, previously uprooted the for sale sign, moved in, claimed the house as her own, racked up a $4,000 utility bill, and squatted for about 18 months before getting evicted.
Real Estate Attorney said Joseph Kirkland shared legal aspects of the situation.
"However, many times when you're dealing with property matters, the authorities want to have it treated as a civil matter," said Kirkland.
Kirkland's practiced real estate law for the past 37 years.
By phone, he told me these cases are not unique and can drag on for months.
"Society just needs to determine how this conduct is going to be rewarded or prosecuted," said Kirkland. "If individuals are allowed to benefit from this type of conduct, I think you'll see more of this type of copycat conduct."
By e-mail, Gentry, or Re Bey, said the mansion is not furnished, but that she's currently working on that.
She said in the email, "I Thank Allah for allowing me to claim this Vast Estate. I Love My New Home and My Land."
The Shelby county DA's office said this matter is criminal, but they are awaiting a case file from MPD before taking action.
MPD said it is investigating.
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Mansion squatter evicted in past, has arrest recordMore>>