By Nathan Duke
Police were on the lookout for a Forest Hills contractor who has been accused of filing documents with the city Department of Buildings that used forged seals of approval after he failed to show up for an August 2008 court date.
Tibor Csizmadia, 76, of Forest Hills, is alleged to have filed as many as 183 documents with the DOB between 2004 and 2008 that included fake seals of approval from a Las Vegas engineer, who had not lived in New York City since 2000 and whose license has been inactive for the past three years, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown’s office said.
A bench warrant was issued Aug. 13, 2008, for Csizmadia’s arrest after he failed to show up for a court date, a DA spokeswoman said.
If apprehended and convicted, the defendant could face up to 183 counts of forgery, falsifying business records and offering a false statement for filing.
The projects using fake signatures included the installation of a bathroom at an Elmhurst home in March 2004, extending the rear and first floor of a Corona property in December 2004, the construction of a building on 134th Street in Jamaica in June 2005, the conversion of a one-family home into a two-family dwelling in Oakland Gardens in November 2005 and the extension of another home along Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills in September 2006.
Csizmadia had been imprisoned for four months and sentenced to five years probation for falsely using the stamp of a registered architect in 2000.
According to the criminal complaint, he filed papers for hundreds of jobs using the signature and stamp of Las Vegas engineer Hsu Lee while operating a business known as Advanced Building Design, as well as Advanced Building Systems, at 66-92 Selfridge St. in Forest Hills.
He filed the plans using Lee’s name at the DOB’s Queens Borough Office at 120-55 Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens.
Lee told police he was unaware of the jobs using his name that were filed by Csizmadia, the DA said.
An expediter involved in city construction projects told police that she personally filed documents on 40 to 50 jobs for Csizmadia after 2001 and that she witnessed the defendant stamp Lee’s seal and sign his name to DOB documents, according to the complaint.
Some 60 jobs had been filed in Lee’s name at the Queens DOB’s office, but used Csizmadia’s address.
On July 22, 2008, the defendant allegedly admitted to investigators that he had filed plans under Lee’s name and that he had no contact with Lee on any of the filed projects. But Csizmadia failed to show up in court shortly thereafter and the warrant was issued for his arrest.
The DOB could not be reached for comment.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.