July 23, 2019, Staff Report
A Jackson Heights man will serve five months in prison for a con that involved collecting $55,000 in security deposits from 20 apartment hunters—all for fake apartments.
Ulises Reyes, 39, of Warren Street in Jackson Heights, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny and first-degree scheme to defraud earlier this month, according to Queens Acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. He will serve two concurrent five month terms for the crimes followed by five years of probation.
Reyes was also ordered to pay $55,000 in restitution to the victims of the con within nine months, or he will be re-sentenced to up to three years in prison.
According to Ryan, Reyes launched the scheme in September 2016 by advertising rental units in Corona and other locations. He accepted cash deposits of between $1,850 and $4,000 from 20 different would-be renters for the apartments. However, they were never allowed to actually move in.
“The victims in this case were tricked into believing they had found a new home. Instead, they were left out in the cold as a result of the defendant’s insatiable desire to line his pockets with the victims’ hard-earned money,” Ryan said in a statement. “The defendant is going to jail as punishment for this scheme. He must also pay back the money he conned from the numerous victims.”
The Queens DA’s office had earlier stated that Reyes faced at least one year in prison. Today’s sentence was the result of a negotiated plea agreement, the Queens DA’s office said.