Posted on February 22, 2024

Cincinnati Woman Pleads Guilty to Making False Racial Discrimination Claim Against Landlord

Taylor Weiter, WCPO, February 20, 2024

A Cincinnati woman who filed a civil lawsuit against her landlord pleaded guilty Tuesday to making false statements accusing him of violating the Fair Housing Act.

Dermisha Pickett, 33, claimed her landlord texted her and left her voicemails saying he wanted her gone because of the color of her skin. In an interview with WCPO 9 in March 2023, Pickett’s attorney shared multiple alleged screenshots of texts from her landlord stating he wanted “a white family in this unit” and “will not rent (to) African Americans again.”

When she sent those screenshots to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, investigators with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General discovered she had faked the messages using an app on a separate phone.


Pickett also produced an alleged voicemail from the landlord, which forensic analysis found was linked to a number tied to Pickett {snip}

Investigators said the landlord, who owns more than 100 properties, told agents he did not want to rent to Pickett because she had caused extensive damage to his property. {snip}