Archive for ponzi schemes

To Catch a Cheat

Posted in are you joking me? with tags , , , on April 7, 2009 by thedith

In a previous post, I referenced my thieving roomate, Roomie Madoff.  In case she comes up in other posts, I better explain myself….So, I just found out that one of my roomates, Rachel*, has been swindling me.  Her name’s on the lease, so she figured it was totally legal, but homegirl’s an idiot and didn’t read up on her San Francisco Tenant Laws, because it turns out, it’s not.  She has the biggest room in the apartment, yet she pays the least. Approximately half — that’s right, HALF of what I pay. She’s got huuuge windows that overlook the Golden Gate bridge.  Meanwhile, I have a tiny slit pretending to be a window that has a lovely view of the back of our refrigerator. My other roomate, Caitlin, told me all of this a few weeks ago. Caitlin has the smallest room, yet for many months she was paying TWICE the amount Rachel was paying. Their old roomate moved out of my room because she found out what Rachel was doing when the apartment above ours went up for rent. She now lives happily upstairs with her friends. When confronted about the money laundering,  Roomie Madoff responded,  “sorry, I know it sucks, but I’m saving up money to travel around South America.” I know! After Caitlin found out, she confronted our roomate (complete with printed out copies of the law ol Fuckface was violating) so she lowered Caitlin’s rent some, increased her own by a little, and still continued to bleed me for money. The funny part is, earlier last month when I paid my rent, Rachel was like,

“oh, so I was thinking, when you move out in May [ed note: oh yes, when i signed the sub-lease i learned that her younger sister is graduating from college in May and moving into my room in June — great time to let me know, right?] I’ll reimburse you a little bit, and then it will be like you paid $100 dollars less per each month.”

“Oh, thank you! that’s so nice of you!” I gushed. Ha. Nice my ass, Captain Crook.

When I found out about this Ponzi scheme to fund Rachel’s trip around South America, I wanted to confront her, but she was conveniently away for the weekend; skiing in Tahoe — probably on slopes of cash made out of my money.  After a two-week long email exchange, where she tried to tell me that I couldn’t see our lease because her “agreement with the landlord is private”.  She finally consented to talk about matters face to face.  Again, she tried to slither out of telling me the total rent of the place (something that Judge Judy would yell at me for not asking about up-front, but like, it was my first subletting experience, and I’m an HONEST person and didn’t expect to be living with a psycho who likes to rape my savings so that way she can buy expensive high-tech sleeping bags from REI).  Eventually she cracked, and I found out I’m paying like 2/3 of the rent which is hilarious in a sick, twisted way.

“Uh, wow.” Was all I said.  “That’s not only unfair, but totally illegal.”  I pushed myself away from the table to collect my thoughts.

“Well, that’s what I put the ad out for, and you accepted.” McSwindler hissed through pursed lips.

“Um, okay, but you know there are laws about how to set up a sublease right? Like, you can’t just go around making up any price you want. ”

“Well, Caitlin and I have been here the longest, so, we’re paying less.”

Youuu liar, you two are paying less because you were only paying $400 dollars, and Caitlin caught you. I wanted to say.  But instead I settled for, “Okay, that’s nice.  But the law says if we don’t split the rent down the middle, it’s determined by room size, and I’m sorry, you have the biggest room — by far.”

“My room’s not really that big –” she started to protest.  To which I should have said, are you kidding me? You have a bike, a tv + tv stand, a table, a fucking corner NOOK with a table and a chair, and an outrageous view of the city! But instead I said, “Rachel, that’s not true.” Then I laughed.  Because that’s what you do when faced with ridiculous people: you laugh at them.

“Listen, you’re room is bigger.  By a lot, we can solve this by measuring it. ”

“I’m sorry [ed note: no you’re not, whore!] but you agreed to pay that much.”

“Yes, but I’m paying disproportionately more, which means by law, the amount that I agreed to pay is null in void.”

“What? So you can just make up a price for your rent?” Her beady eyes darted about in confusion.

No, moron, what do you think laws are for? “No, it needs to be determined based off of room square footage.” I repeated through gritted teeth.”

“Okay, look, I don’t want to remeasure rooms…” She started.  Then she offered me a deal which I realized the next day is STILL a rip-off, and I’m STILL carrying the bulk of the rent, but I was tired and over it.

Until today.

I discovered a nice little passive-aggressive sheet of paper lying on the kitchen table.  It was a piece of paper, breaking up how much money Caitlin and I “owe” in utilities.  Thanks, Mom, for breaking that down for us!  You know who’s name was NOT on the paper? If you guessed “Rachel” then you’re smarter than she is.  Like, seriously, c’mon now.  You think I’m just going to blindly accept that Caitlin and I each owe $20 dollars for gas/electricity for the month of February, and you owe…what? $20 dollars? Really? Our gas bill for one month in 60-degree-weather San Francisco is $60 dollars? I uh, don’t think so.  So Caitlin and I talked about it today, but basically, it takes a whole lot of strength to not just like, push her out her big fucking window overlooking the Golden Gate bridge.

*Name has NOT been changed