Saturday, August 17, 2013
Astoria scammer in the slammer
From the Queens Courier:
An Astoria landlord has been charged with taking thousands of dollars from potential tenants after posting a Craigslist listing for an apartment and room at his home that were never vacant.
According to a criminal complaint, Mario Lalicata, also known as Mario Lamagra, posted a rental listing on Craigslist for a basement apartment or room at his 48th Street home in Astoria. Between March 23 and August 13, Lalicata allegedly took security deposits ranging from $500 to $2,000 from prospective tenants and collected first month’s rent in two cases. Afterwards, as the move-in dates got closer, Lalicata allegedly suspended the moves after making up numerous excuses. When the tenants tried asking for their money back, the landlord allegedly promised to return the money or said the money was being used for repairs. Lalicata allegedly then stopped answering and returning the tenants’ calls.
On August 13, Lalicata was arraigned on a 22-count criminal complaint with ten counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, two counts of first-degree scheme to defraud and ten counts of petit larceny.