A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for the defendant in an allegedly illegal rental deal involving a Birchwood area townhome, Barron County Circuit Court documents said.
The defendant, 48-year-old Marina Gosnell, whose last known address was in Rice Lake, failed to show up for court on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, court records said.
The complaint, which was filed in October, alleged the defendant took a $9,000 payment from a woman who thought she was leasing a townhome at the Tagalong Resort, Birchwood.
The investigation dates back to July 2019, when the victim told a Barron County Sheriff’s deputy that she contacted the defendant while looking for a home to rent, and found a condo/townhouse offered on Facebook. The defendant allegedly posted the rental notice.
The defendant also told the victim that she and her boyfriend were moving out of state and offered to sell the victim some furniture in the home, because they couldn’t take it with them. The victim paid $650 for the furnishings.
She later signed a lease agreement listed at an agreed monthly rental of $1,300. The agreement required a down payment of five months’ rent, a security deposit of $1,300 and a pet fee of $500. The defendant insisted the victim pay in cash because of “the sudden need to leave town and not being able to ensure a check would clear.”
After the victim paid the required $9,000, the defendant gave her keys to the townhouse. When the victim entered the townhouse, she found many furnishing and electronics still there. Later, the victim learned from the townhouse owner that the defendant had a rent-to-own agreement with him but had stopped making payments, and he had begun the process of having the townhome transferred back to his name. He also told the victim the defendant had no authority to sell any of the furniture in the townhome.