An Auburn man is behind bars after police say he bilked his employer out of nearly 30 thousand dollars.
52 year old Michael Howell has been charged with Grand Larceny. He is the manager of the Genessee West Apartments and Kings and Queens Court in Auburn. Police say Howell began renting out vacant apartments in the building 18 months ago and pocketing the monthly rent, without informing the owners of the buildings that the apartments were being rented.
Police say the scam was detected when the owners went to check one apartment believed to be vacant and found it occupied. They learned from the tenant that Howell was being paid directly in cash. Other apartments were found to be rented under the same circumstances and the police were contacted.
Police say Howell conducted the activity with a total of 30 tenants. It's not believed that any tenants were involved or realized what was taking place.