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Joseph Ashley given a prison cell for renting apartment he didn't own, police say

By Len Righi, WFMZ.com Reporter
Published On: Mar 26 2013 12:50:26 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 26 2013 12:50:35 PM CDT
EASTON, Pa. -

A man was given a room in the county jail for renting an apartment he didn't own, officials said.

Joseph M. Ashley took a $500 security deposit on Nov. 11, 2012, for a 1st-floor apartment at 137 South 11th St., Easton, that he had shown to Benjamin Marston , and told Marston he could move in on Dec. 1, officials said.

Marston finally called authorities on Dec. 31, because he was unable to move in or contact Ashley to get his security deposit check back, officials said.

The owner of the property, Shelamadine Godoy, told police that Ashley had no right to rent the apartment, and said another man, Jospeh Pietruszkiewicz, had told her he, too, paid Ashley a security deposit for the same apartment, officials said.

When police contacted Ashley, he admitted taking Marston's money and said he was sorry, officials said.

Ashley , 55, of 1496 Indian Mountain Lakes, Albrightsville, Carbon Co., was arraigned over the weekend on a theft by deception charge and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $5,000 bail, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. March 29.