Two real estate agents from Queens took thousands of dollars’ worth of security deposits, agent fees and rental payments from prospective tenants without actually making apartments available.
According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, the real estate agents worked for Fast Solutions Realty and Supreme Realty, both formerly located at at 47-20 48th Ave. in Woodside. They pocketed more than $65,000 from 20 potential tenants from 2014 through 2015.
Victor M. Oaxaca, also known as Manny Hurtado, 43, of Woodside, and Roger Garcia, 44, of Flushing, were accused of preying specifically on the Latino community. Television network Univision and immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York first alerted Brown to the issue.
Many prospective tenants learned about the apartments from ads placed around Queens by Fast Solutions Realty and Supreme Realty.
Between Feb. 5, 2015, and Oct. 18, 2015, Oaxaca presented himself as a real estate agent for Fast Solutions Realty and Supreme Realty and he and another apprehended individual showed and collected $53,600 in security deposits, agent fees and rent payments from 16 prospective tenants for apartments that were never made available for occupancy to the victims.
According to the criminal complaint, three prospective tenants were provided refund checks that bounced because the account had been blocked or frozen or due to insufficient funds.
Between Nov. 15, 2014, and Aug. 6, 2015, Garcia and another apprehended individual showed and collected $14,120 in security deposits, agent fees and rent payments from four prospective tenants for apartments that were never made available for occupancy to the victims.
“These arrests are the latest stemming from our ongoing investigation of a Woodside realty company accused of preying on members of the Queens Latino community,” Brown said. “Sadly, this case represents an all-too-common scenario in which allegedly greedy realtors are accused of taking advantage of Queens County’s tight housing market to rob unsuspecting individuals of substantial amounts of their hard-earned savings. To date, our investigation has resulted in three arrests, alleging a total theft of more than $100,000 from 23 prospective tenants.”
Rosita Tsiklauri used to operate the firm and was arrested in May for defrauding 19 tenants out of $76,820 in deposits and rent, according to Brown’s office.
Oaxaca was charged with with third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, first-degree scheme to defraud, petit larceny and issuing a bad check. Oaxaca, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was released under supervision and ordered to return to court on July 12.
Garica was charged with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, first-degree scheme to defraud and issuing a bad check. Garcia, who faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, was released and ordered to return to court on July 12.
Anyone who believes that he or she may have been a victim of the defendants’ alleged scheme should contact Brown’s Economics Crimes Bureau at 718-286-6673 or the Office of Immigrant Affairs at 718-286-6690.