Police: Three Charged In New Canaan Real Estate Scheme

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Ruth Jones, of New Canaan, has been arrested on charges of  first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, third-degree burglary, and second-degree forgery.
Ruth Jones, of New Canaan, has been arrested on charges of first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, third-degree burglary, and second-degree forgery. Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department
Lynda Silvestro, of New Canaan, was charged with first-degree larceny, second-degree issuing a false statement, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.
Lynda Silvestro, of New Canaan, was charged with first-degree larceny, second-degree issuing a false statement, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny. Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department
Adam Jones, of New Canaan, was charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.
Adam Jones, of New Canaan, was charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny. Photo Credit: New Canaan Police Department

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Three people accused of renting out a New Canaan house they did not own have been arrested and charged in a real estate scheme dating back to 2011, police said.

Officers first heard of a possible scheme late last fall when a woman went to police headquarters and said she was renting a home through local real estate agent Ruth Jones, which Jones did not have permission to sell or rent, Sgt. Carol Ogrinc said Tuesday. 

The woman had been living in the Braeburn Drive home since August 2012, and Jones had advised her to say she was an interior designer, the sergeant said.

The complainant had paid Jones a $24,000 down payment and entered into a contract to rent the home for $6,000 a month, Ogrinc said. Ruth’s son, Adam, and Lynda Silvestro signed the lease as the property owners as principals of Property Management LLC, the sergeant said.

Silvestro said Ruth Jones forged her signature, but the police investigation found that Jones had the right to sign Silvestro's name for Property Management LLC paperwork, the sergeant said.

Ruth Jones had a contract to sell the home, but it expired in 2011, Ogrinc said. She continued to post the home for sale and for rent on her website in February 2012 and August 2012 and showed the house about 27 times after the contract ended, the sergeant said.

The complainant first learned of the possible wrongdoing when she met a lawyer for the estate owner, who was checking on the home’s condition after Superstorm Sandy in late October, Ogrinc said. The lawyer was with a locksmith after seeing that someone was living in the home, she said.

Ruth Jones, 56, was charged with first-degree larceny, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny, third-degree burglary, and second-degree forgery.

Silvestro, 55, was charged with first-degree larceny, second-degree issuing a false statement, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.

Adam Jones, 29, was charged with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny.

All three turned themselves in on Aug. 19. Each posted $50,000 bond. Court dates are set for Aug. 29.

The investigating officer has consulted with the state prosecutor on the case, Ogrinc said.

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STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF RUTH LEBLANC-JONES

Ruth LeBlanc-Jones is not guilty and we will prove so in court with evidence. Her company was hired by Jennifer Hilton to clean, secure an ownership partner for needed property improvements, supervise these improvements and then help sell Ms. Hilton's deceased father's home. As with all real estate brokers, Ruth LeBlanc-Jones was given keys to the home early in the process to do so. No larceny or burglary ever occurred and saying so is a disgrace and a lie.

But we have something potentially important to share. We have heard rumors Jennifer Hilton may have used her job at NBC News and "The Today Show" to gain leverage and special attention with the New Canaan police department and the prosecutors office. If that is so, it would not only be unethical, but maybe illegal in itself. We are asking top authorities to check into these rumors to see if they are true and if so bring all to a stop immediately. We are also asking top authorities to review the inappropriate arrest of Ruth LeBlanc-Jones in conjunction with such potential influence by Jennifer Hilton and her job in the process.