Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Astoria con artist still at it
Recently, Phivos was arrested after allegedly ripping off a number of other renters from whom he took a combined $13,000 in fees for an apartment in a brand new building on Astoria Boulevard. Each of them was promised the apartment after they paid first and last month’s rent and a broker’s fee. However, none of them got the promised lease or their money back.
As a result, the Queens district attorney investigated Ioannou and he was arraigned on three counts of grand larceny in the third degree and three counts of scheme to defraud in the first degree. Bail was set at $15,000. Ioannou remains in jail awaiting trial. His next court date is March 8.
While that case moves along, another victim has recently come forward. Engeel Zeldon says she gave Phiovs Ioannou $7,200 in cash to rent an apartment on 40th Avenue in Astoria.
Zeldon, the single mother of two children, paid $2,400 each for first and last month’s rent and $2,400 for the broker’s fee. Phivos told her the landlord was out of town in Las Vegas and when he returned a few days later, he would sign the lease and give her the key. But after those few days passed, and Phivos stopped answering the phone, Zeldon went to the office of Astoria First Realty and found it was closed down.
The city marshal had evicted Ioannou for allegedly owing six months rent to the landlord.