Friday, June 05, 2015

Manhattan DA: Uptown Scammer Squeezed For Pocketing $16K From Five Desperate Victims Seeking Low-Income Rental Housing In "Section 8" Swindle; Suspect Posed As Rep For Gov't Agency, Used Notarized Forms To Lend Racket Air Of Legitimacy: Cops

From the Office of the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney:
  • Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of ENRIQUE GUERRERO, 25, for stealing $16,000 from victims seeking affordable housing in Washington Heights and Westchester County. The defendant is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Grand Larceny in the Third and Fourth Degrees, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.[1]

    “Enrique Guerrero is accused of stealing from families seeking affordable housing at a time in this city when such housing is so scarce that more than 88,000 people applied for just 55 low-income apartments on the Upper West Side,” said District Attorney Vance. “Using notarized forms to lend his scam an air of legitimacy, he allegedly preyed upon vulnerable members of his community who were desperate for an affordable apartment.

    “Scams like these often target the most defenseless among us, including new immigrants who may not speak fluent English or understand the housing system. If you or someone you know may be a victim of such fraud, I urge you to call my Financial Frauds Hotline at 212-335-8900, or my Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-335-3600. My Office is here to help, regardless of your immigration status.”

    According to the indictment and documents filed in court, from October 25, 2014, through November 18, 2014, GUERRERO allegedly stole $16,000 from five victims seeking affordable housing in Washington Heights and Westchester County through the Housing Choice Voucher program, also known as Section 8.

    In each case, GUERRERO is charged with posing as a representative of a government housing agency that could facilitate these requests, and claiming that he could help the victims in exchange for cash payments ranging from $3,000 to $4,500. GUERRERO allegedly signed notarized agreements with each victim in a Washington Heights office, promising them the lease and keys to an apartment within one month of receiving their payments. However, once GUERRERO received the payments, he allegedly stopped answering the victims’ phone calls, and never provided housing to any of the five victims.

    ***

    District Attorney Vance thanked the members of the NYPD’s 34th Precinct for their assistance with the case.
Source: DA Vance Announces Indictment Of Enrique Guerrero For Stealing From Individuals Seeking Low Income Housing (Defendant Falsely Claimed to Work for a Government Housing Agency).

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