Sunday, April 14, 2013
Fraudulent Astoria landlord busted
From the Queens Gazette:
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn and New York City Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, announced today that a Queens landlord who allegedly ignored an order to vacate his premises has been charged with taking tens of thousands of dollars from prospective tenants for uninhabitable apartments and in one particularly egregious case renting out the same apartment to four different tenants for the same time period.
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Hinyoung Limtung, 55, of 31-70 Crescent Street, in Astoria, Queens. The defendant was arrested today and is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with first-degree scheme to defraud, third-degree grand larceny and second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. If convicted, Limtung faces up to 15 years in prison.
District Attorney Brown said that the matter was brought to the attention of his office by several of the tenants at 31-70 Crescent Street – a property owned by the defendant – complaining about the alleged egregious conditions at their building. The District Attorney’s Office commenced an investigation with the New York City Police Department and thereafter learned that the City’s Department of Buildings and Department of Investigation were conducting a simultaneous probe. The two investigations were then joined.
In December 2012, the Department of Buildings issued a vacate order to the defendant after determining that the two-family building had been converted into a five-family building with no permit or certificate of occupancy issued for the conversion, that the first and second floor had no secondary means of egress, and that the building had no sprinkler system. Upon returning to the premises on February 19, 2013, the DOB investigator discovered that the property had been converted into a nine-family dwelling despite the existing vacate order and that there were multiple individuals allegedly living at the premises in violation of the vacate order.