PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A squatter who's refusing to leave one Palm Springs rental property isn't popular among neighbors, or online gamers. News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 reporter Samantha Cortese investigated Tuesday, and it turns out, this might not be the squatter's first scam.
Rather than letting her quaint condo in Palm Springs sit empty during the summer, Cory Tschogl, a therapist working for blind veterans in San Francisco, used the popular rental site 'Airbnb' to make some cash.
Tschogl rented out her condo at the Palm Springs Villas ll, located at 600 W San Rafael Dr., for 44 days. A neighbor -- only identified as 'Yoyo'-- tells us the tenant is named Maksym Pashanin.
But after his time was up, Pashanin didn't leave the condo. In a text message conversation Tschogl gave the 'Business Insider', she told Pashanin that the power and electricity would be shut off. He replied by nailing her with a technicality, stating that since the rental was longer than 30 days, he is legally a month-to-month tenant.
He's right, and he isn't going anywhere.
"[Tschogl] was extremely frustrated," said Julie Bort with Business Insider. "She described the whole situation as a nightmare."
Nobody answered the door when News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 tried to talk with the tenant Tuesday morning. Tschogl's legal council said it could be a months-long, costly eviction process.
Neighbors said Pashanin lived with his brother and rarely ever socialized.
"Every time they would just hang out together, I never really knew, they were drinking iced tea or something," said neighbor Jeremy Fraser.
It appears Maksym Pashanin is a gamer of a different kind too. A contributor to the crowdfunding website 'Kickstarter' alerted our stations to 'Confederate Express', a computer game created by Pashanin.
People have donated $40,000 to fund the game and many are crying scam. They said it's been eight months without anything more than this demo.
Pashanin recently told the gaming site CLIQIST.com that he made some bad business decisions and reassured his fans the game would be released.
Airbnb hasn't confirmed if Pashanin is the tenant, but neighbors said the picture we showed them from the Kickstarter demo is the man they've seen at the apartment for nearly two months.
Tschogl hopes others do their research before renting.
Airbnb is extremely popular, but it's really up to the renter to understand the rules and laws that govern their area. Airbnb said they're working with Tschogl and have refunded her for the reservation.