Cleaning the House
Most people care greatly about the appearance of their homes. This means keeping it clean through regular sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, and other jobs that are the most fun in the world. This is why many people hire a cleaning service to keep the house clean. Making the decision to pay someone to clean can be difficult. First, you have to pay someone to do something that you could do yourself, which is difficult for many. Also, you are putting everything you own in the hands of a complete stranger, which can be difficult. In some cases, it can result in severe consequences.
Genevieve is a 29-year-old financial consultant who lives in East-Williamsburg, New York. She shares her loft with three roommates, which can make it challenging to keep the place clean. When she received an email from a cleaning company that she had used before, and they were offering a discount, she thought that it was perfect timing.
Joanna’s Cleaning Service
It was Joanna’s Cleaning Service who Genevieve hired. The company sent two cleaners to handle the job, and Genevieve made sure that the shared spaces of the apartment were organized. She paid the women $185 plus a $60 tip upfront. She said goodbye to her two cats and headed out for work. She was confident that the cleaners would do a good job.
A Poor Impression
Shortly after Genevieve left for work, one of her roommates saw one of the cleaners lounging on the couch doing nothing. Another cleaner went into the bathroom after being told not to and walked in on another roommate in the shower. It was a pretty bad first impression.
A Neighbor’s Help
Shortly after the police and EMTs left, Genevieve sent another email to Joanna. She explained what had happened, and she demanded a refund for the cleaning and all of the damage the women had caused. She also wanted Joanna to pay for an emergency locksmith. Joanna apologized and offered her a free cleaning. She told Genevieve that she would fix everything. Genevieve was angry, but if Joanna was going to fix things, she tried to calm down.
Genevieve was shocked when she received a text message from Joanna trying to make excuses for the intoxicated employee that was lying on her kitchen floor. A few texts later, Joanna refused to pay for anything. She even had the nerve to criticize Genevieve for taking photos of the passed out employee. Genevieve couldn’t believe it. She started to wonder about the company, and she did a little research.
Genevieve started to wonder if she had been scammed. She couldn’t figure out the true identity of the person she was speaking with, so she checked out the company’s Facebook page. It turned out that the address that the company listed was the middle of an intersection, where there were no buildings at all. She couldn’t trace the company. She was angry that she had been scammed, so she did the only thing that they could think of to get back at “Joanna.”
Poor Yelp Reviews
Genevieve wanted to get “Joann’s” attention, and also warn others about the scam, so she left negative reviews on their Yelp page. Many of her friends, including her roommates, did the same. Joanna was very upset about the bad review, and she texted Genevieve about the post. She claimed that the poor service on another cleaning company that is run by another woman named Joanna. She claimed that the owner of the service who cleaned Genevieve’s apartment was Joanna Oltuszewska.
When Genevieve’s friends heard what happened, they decided to help their friend by doing a bit of investigating. They managed to find Joanna Oltuszewska’s Facebook page, and it was very empty. She had only one friend. Genevieve’s friends sent her a screenshot of the photo of this Joanna’s only friend, and it was the woman who was passed out on her kitchen floor. Genevieve couldn’t believe it.
An Unknown Identity
Genevieve and her friends knew that the whole cleaning service was a scam, and they couldn’t figure out the true identity of “Joanna.” Since the company claimed to accept checks, they had to have a physical address, but they couldn’t find it. The woman in the pink shirt who passed out on the floor changed her employment status to “self-employed” recently, but there was no activity after that. The whole thing was a mystery.
Waiting For a Refund
Genevieve decided to wait until the end of September to get her refund. She figured that Joanna’s Cleaning Service would need a little time to come up with the money for the money Genevieve paid, the tip, the cost of the damage, as well as a refund for the emergency locksmith. When the end of September came and went without a check, Genevieve decided to take action and bring the case to small claims court. She wanted justice. She felt very disrespected by the cleaners’ behavior, and she was angry about the damage that they caused. Also, they left the door wide open, and Genevieve’s beloved rescue cats, Bandit and Calvin, could have escaped. She didn’t think that the cleaning company should get away with such disrespect and insensitivity.
Wanting To Do Something
The physical damage to the apartment was repaired on Genevieve and her roommates’ dime. They would need to wait for their day in court to be reimbursed. The four roommates were shaken by what had happened, and they wanted to try to make the most out of a bad situation. Genevieve decided to work with her neighbors to organized a formal meet and greet for the whole block. She hoped that doing something like this would help out in situations like this one in the future. If people were looking out for one another, things like this wouldn’t happen.
Many of Genevieve’s friends suggested that she use her new-found fame to set up a GoFundMe to be compensated for some of the damage. Genevieve didn’t want innocent people to pay for the damage caused by the cleaning company. Instead of asking for money herself, she asked people to donate to The Trevor Project, which is a suicide hotline for LGBTQ+ youth.
Roommates are forced to sue a cleaning service after a wild chain of events upended their lives. The outcome of Genevieve’s case is still pending, and she doesn’t plan to dwell on the negative. Horror stories like Genevieve’s will make people think twice before letting a stranger in their home. Unfortunately, she isn’t the only person who has been scammed by an unscrupulous person.
Julia Belshe is the only daughter of Rudy and Rennie North. She lived close to her parents, which was great because she could see them every day. They were both in their 80s, and Rennie suffered from neuropathy. Since they couldn’t get to Julia, they felt blessed that she could get to them.
Rudy and Rennie lived in Sun City Aliante, which is an adult community in Las Vegas. They loved living there because they could remain independent and get help when they needed it. One morning, Rudy was having breakfast when someone knocked on the door. A stocky woman was standing there, and she introduced herself as April Parks. She had some horrible news for the couple.
April told the couple that they had to pack their bags immediately and vacate their residence. She gave the couple paperwork that she filed to become their new legal guardian, and it gave her control over the couple’s entire estate. Rudy looked out the window and saw April’s convertible outside. The plate read, “Crtgrdn” for “Court Guardian.”
April told the couple that if they didn’t leave, that they would call the police. Rudy knew that his wife wouldn’t last in jail, so he had to do what they said. He and Rennie gathered everything they could before they were taken to an unknown destination. With the couple out of the way, April started going through their things. She trashed the place looking for valuables, and she took a watch, rare coins, and many important documents. This was only the beginning of what she had planned. Although she was a complete stranger, April had the right to take whatever she wanted because she was the couple’s legal guardian. She even had the right to sell off all of their things to cover her fee for service and to provide for the couple financially.
Later that afternoon, Julia went to see her parents like she always did, and she panicked when she realized that they were gone. When she found out what happened, she couldn’t believe a stranger had the right to basically kidnap her parents. She got in her car and went to save them. She found them in a nursing home, but they were not in good shape. The nurses intentionally overmedicated them, and they could barely leave the house, let alone try to fight April.
The Other Residents
When Julia arrived at the nursing home, she spoke to many residents and found out that many had been victims of April’s as well. Most had lost everything they owned. When the couple found out that April had sold everything they owned, they had to find another nursing home. Julia knew that she had to act fast if she was going to help her parents. She couldn’t allow someone to take advantage of her parents this way and get away with it.
Julia reached out to Rana Goodman, the political editor of the Vegas Voice. Rana published an article exposing the “elder abuse racket’, and circulated a petition to change the law. Thousands of people signed the petition, which was enough for Julia and her parents to get a court date against April. This was precisely what Julia needed to get justice for her parents. Finally, she couldn’t hide, and she knew it. The judge who approved of April’s guardianship over the Norths revoked it. Finally, they were free from this woman. For Julia, this wasn’t enough. She wanted to take April down once and for all. She couldn’t allow her to get away with taking everything from her parents. She also couldn’t let this swindler continue doing this to other elderly people in Las Vegas.
As the case went on, Rudy was asked to testify. He discussed what happened, and he even quoted the Bible, Euripides, and Thomas Jefferson. The judge realized right away that he wasn’t the helpless man that April made him out to be. The case was going so bad for April that she sent a text to her husband that read, “I am finished.” She knew immediately that she was caught. She told the court that Rudy was not a well man who didn’t have all of his mental faculties. This was the only reason she was granted legal guardianship of the family. When the judge and everyone in the courtroom heard Rudy speaking, they all knew that it was over for April. She lied to the judge about Rudy’s health just to get her hands on his money.
In the end, April was indicted for perjury and theft. She was ordered to pay the Norths $8.5 million in damages. Justice was served for them, but not for all of April’s victims. Some of the people that April took advantage of don’t have family members to fight for them. Many are in poor health and can do nothing or themselves. Nevada is one of the only states that allows anyone to apply for legal guardianship, and this needs to change. Changing the law is the only way to protect the elderly from people like April. Hopefully, the laws will change soon, and the elderly people of Nevada will be safe.