Sunday, October 18, 2009

Con man's estate was unreal: DA


A scam artist talked a crowd of developers, lawyers and architects into thinking he owned a multimillion-dollar stake in a coveted Harlem property -- even tricking the New York Road Runners and a plumber into investing $1 million each in his project, officials charged yesterday.

Henry Vargas is being held without bail on charges of grand larceny.

Vargas, 35, assembled enough genuine and forged documents to trick his victims into thinking he and his family owned a 90 percent stake in 21-41 Lenox Ave., Manhattan prosecutors said.

The Road Runners, which organizes the New York City Marathon, will get back its $1 million, but is out $300,000 in other expenses, said DA Robert Morgenthau.

Vargas also pocketed a $1 million "down payment" he got from Pete Skyllas, a plumber and real-estate developer, prosecutors said.

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