April 2, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
A 39-year-old Jackson Heights man faces between one and four years in prison after allegedly orchestrating a con that involved taking $25,000 in fake deposits from over a dozen people looking to rent apartments in Queens, the Queens District Attorney announced today.
Ulises Reyes, of Warren Street in Jackson Heights, allegedly met with over a dozen people from October 2017 to February 2019, accepted deposits of amounts between $1,850 up to $2,300, and then never provided the “renters” with the ability to move into the apartments he showed them.
One incident, according to the charges, happened on Oct. 27, 2017 when Reyes allegedly met with a woman to show her a two-family house on 50th Avenue in Corona. The woman gave Reyes $2,300 in cash expecting to move in soon, but it never eventuated.
A second known incident linked to the defendant, which happened on or close to July 23, 2018, involved Reyes allegedly showing a man an apartment for rent on 105th Street in Corona, taking another $2,300 for a deposit.
Incidents such as these allegedly occurred 12 more times, with the defendant being accused of showing apartments on 105th Street, 50th Avenue and a third unit on 43rd Avenue in Corona and claiming to be authorized to rent the apartments.
At no point did the defendant allow any would-be renters to actually occupy the apartments they had placed deposits on.
Reyes, according to the DA, was arraigned on Friday, March 29 and was charged with fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree scheme to defraud.
Bail was set for $40,000, by Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita, and Reyes is scheduled to return to court on April 16, 2019 where he will be sentenced and faces two to four years in prison if convicted.
“The victims in this case did what any other perspective renters would have done – they called an advertised number, met with the defendant and toured an apartment,” said Chief Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan.
“The defendant, however, was scheming from the moment he allegedly posted a for rent sign with his phone number listed. More than a dozen people were duped into handing over thousands of dollars in cash as a deposit for an apartment that was never rented. The defendant now faces prison time for this alleged scheme.”