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Squatter Found Guilty Of Renting Homes He Didn't Own

One of the four men behind a plot to illegally rent houses they did not own in Beverly and Morgan Park was found guilty Friday afternoon.

David Farr, 45, was found guilty of theft, financial institution fraud and continuing a financial crimes enterprise. He faces a sentence of six to 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole, prosecutors said.

"Prosecuting cases of this nature are extremely complex and labor-intensive. I would like to thank the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Chicago Police Department's Financial Crimes Unit for their ongoing efforts in this matter," said 19th Ward Ald. Matt O'Shea in an email to constituents Friday afternoon.

Farr will appear in court again on Oct. 25 for sentencing, according to O'Shea.

He was found guilty of a scheme that dates to 2012 involving dozens of homes on the Far Southwest Side. Others awaiting trial for the plot include Torrez Moore, Raymond Trimble and Trimble's son, Arshad Thomas.

Prosecutors said previously that Moore and Farr consider themselves Sovereigns or Moors and thus do not recognize the U.S. government. As a part of this belief, they also think banks should not be allowed to own homes.

Armed with this theory, Farr (who also goes by Fahim Ali, Jalani Ali and Sekou Ali) filed paperwork with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Offfice. Those involved in the plot would then break into the homes, change the locks and post "No Trespassing" signs.

Other squatters then moved into the homes, and some paid rent to the men behind the scheme. A few of the illegal tenants even went as far as planting flowers outside the homes they were illegally occupying and signing up for utilities, O'Shea said.

"We should not be arrested, or even put in jail, for beautifying vacant properties across the city," Farr told a judge on July 22, 2015.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said last year most of the renters knew they were living in these homes illegally. And many refused to leave when police asked them to, prosecutors said.