Three Bronx residents have been indicted for posing as real estate brokers and stealing thousands of dollars in phony application fees and security deposits from immigrant families in Washington Heights.
According to a release from the Manhattan DA's office, the "brokers" took as much as $5,500 from each of their victims, who were largely Hispanic immigrants. The victims were shown pictures of apartments that were supposedly available to rent; after taking their money, the three defendants pushed back move-in dates or ignored their phone calls altogether. In some cases, the families were left without a place to live.
Juan Valoy, 35, Elizabeth Perez, 30, and Ricardo Gonzalez, 36, are all charged with multiple counts of felony grand larceny and felony fraud. The three were indicted earlier today.
"I encourage anyone who feels that he or she may have been the victim of a scam to call my Office’s Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-335-3600, regardless of immigration status," Manhattan DA Cy Vance, Jr. said in a release.