Queens DA returns over $40K to rent scam victims who were duped into renting Richmond Hill apartment

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz returned more than $40,000 to victims of a rent scam during a meeting with them at her offices. (Courtesy of DA’s office)

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz returned more than $40,000 to more than a dozen victims of a rental scam due to the work of her Housing and Worker Protection Bureau.

The sum was remitted in connection with the case of defendant Shahab Khan, who was charged in 2011 with taking approximately $53,300 in security deposits from prospective tenants for the same apartment in his Richmond Hill residence although, in fact, it was never available for rent.

Khan allegedly advertised the first-floor apartment located at 86-46 127th St. on Craigslist and showed it to 20 prospective tenants on various occasions. He accepted security deposits and first month’s rent ranging from $2,000 to $4,350 from the complainants.

When the victims tried to arrange move-in dates, Khan stalled by giving various excuses.

Katz created the Housing and Worker Protection Bureau in 2020, her first year in office, to investigate and prosecute crimes related to deed fraud, mortgage fraud, construction fraud, wage theft and workplace safety. The bureau also investigates and prosecutes criminals who “prey on people who live and work in Queens” with fraudulent real estate schemes, unsafe workplace conditions and other forms of illegal exploitation.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 718-286-6673.

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