CHICAGO (CBS) — Remember the movie “Catch Me If You Can,” about a con artist who crisscrosses the country writing bad checks? Now we have the real-life story of a Chicago attorney accused of committing fraud all over the city.
CBS 2 Morning Insider Lauren Victory introduces us to the latest victim of this alleged serial rent-skipper.
University of Chicago masters student Aram Ghoogasian found disgusting conditions inside his Woodlawn apartment after returning from a three-month stint studying abroad.
“I walk in here; overpowering smell, stuff all over the ground,” he said. “All my dishes, basically everything I own is just covered in filth and grime.”
Bugs crawled all over his apartment, stains covered the floors, and what appeared to be animal waste coated the cushions.
“There was dirt in my tub. There was pieces of pasta in my tub. I don’t know what was going on in here,” Ghoogasian said.
The culprit was attorney Skye Allen, according to Ghoogasian. He sublet his place to her in June, and she paid the first month’s rent in full, but July’s check never came. Her next one bounced.
“Basically, after that, it was just a series of excuses why it was late, why she had no money, things like that. Basically saying, ‘Oh, I had a rough week, it’s been a hard time,’ without really giving any specifics,” Ghoogasian said.
He did some checking online, and discovered seven different civil lawsuits involving Allen over the past 10 years. The claims added up to more than $30,000.
In 2016, someone tried to evict Allen from a home on the 2600 block of West Rice. According to legal records, she owed more than $2,000 in unpaid rent.
Allen missed her court date, but filed an appeal, writing she couldn’t make her hearing or move out on time, because she was “extremely sick for months,” including two hospitalizations and a “week in intensive care.”
“Basically, if I can be blunt, screwing people out of their money for years and years. I thought, you know, she’s gotten away with this for this long. She’s been sued multiple times, you know, maybe I can put a stop to this,” Ghoogasian said.
Allen refused an on-camera interview, and denied any wrongdoing.
Her chance to fight Ghoogasian’s allegations is now, but the person hired to serve her court papers is having trouble.
“He tried four times to find her, but could not do it,” Ghoogasian said.
CBS 2 also tried to find her, and contacted her on Linkedin. We also checked the address on her license, but couldn’t find anybody by that name. According to the law office she lists as her current employer on social media, she quit years ago, and might have moved to Mexico.
After CBS 2 reached out to Allen, she did finally pay Ghoogasian $2,500.