By Philip Newman
A grand jury has indicted a 26-year-old Queens homeless man for what prosecutors said was assuming the identity of an elderly man who welcomed him into his home and maxing out credit cards belonging to his benefactor.
The indictments by a Queens County grand jury also charge the defendant, Christian Albinos of Woodhaven, with grand larceny, identity theft and other crimes between November 2011 and May 2012, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.
“The defendant is alleged to have taken advantage of the victim’s kindness by running up charges on his credit cards and even filing a bogus tax return to line his own pockets,” the Queens DA said. “This is yet another reminder to always protect your financial information and to be very careful whom you take into your home.”
Brown said Albinos was arraigned Sept. 26 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles Lopresto on an indictment charging the defendant with second-degree grand larceny, identity theft, forgery, possession of a forged instrument and scheme to defraud.
The defendant was already out on bail on another matter before State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
Lopresto ordered Albinos back in court on Oct.1. If convicted, Albinos could get up to 15 years in prison.
The district attorney said that according to the indictment, Albinos was homeless in November 2011 when the victim, who was acquainted with Albinos’ family, opened his home to him. The 66-year-old victim was not identified.
Brown said the victim retired from his longtime job at Flushing Hospital in December and paid off all his credit cards prior to moving back to his native Colombia but in the process failed to close out his credit cards.
Albinos was alleged to have called banks and instructed them to authorize him as a legitimate card user, after which more cards were sent to him, the DA said.
Albinos is accused of maxing out the cards—charging $50,000 that paid for expensive dinners and fancy clothes, according to the DA.
Brown said Albinos also filed a false tax return in the victim’s name and collected a $6,000 refund.
As a result of the defendant’s alleged acts. the 66-year old victim had to return from Colombia to the United States to resolve the alleged credit-card fraud. In addition, the IRS had begun garnishing the victim’s pension to collect the $6,000 refund it had issued, the DA said.