NEW YORK (AP) -- A Bronx man who claimed to be an apartment rental agent has been accused of defrauding immigrant families who needed housing.
Johnny Mateo pleaded not guilty Friday to larceny and fraud charges. He is being held without bail until a court date Wednesday.
Manhattan prosecutors say the 43-year-old Mateo bilked six families out of fees ranging from $1,900 to $4,800. Most victims were Mexican or Dominican.
Prosecutors say Mateo sometimes took money from more than one family for the same apartment and promised multiple clients the same move-in time. They say he gave clients excuses when they asked about promised apartments.
Prosecutors say Mateo fled to Houston, but was arrested after a traffic accident there and brought to New York.