NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Prosecutors say three people posed as real estate brokers to scam apartment-hunters out of thousands of dollars in fees and deposits on apartments they couldn’t get: Some places were already occupied.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced Wednesday that Ricardo Gonzalez, Elizabeth Adrian Perez and Juan Valoy have been indicted on grand larceny and other charges. They have pleaded not guilty.

Vance said the scheme targeted Hispanic immigrants looking for places to live in the bustling Washington Heights neighborhood.

“Scam artists frequently target immigrant communities,” Vance said in a news release. “Through this scheme, the defendants are accused of stealing thousands of dollars from their victims and, moreover, leaving many without a place to live.”

Valoy, Adrian Perez and Gonzalez showed more than 20 people apartments they claimed were available, then accepted as much as $5,500 for supposed application fees and security deposits, prosecutors said.

The defendants then delayed move-in dates and ducked victims’ calls, Vance’s office said.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
[display-posts category=”news” posts_per_page=”4″]

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


Leave a Reply