2016-07-06 / Front Page

Two More Woodside Realtors Busted In Client Fraud

By Liz Goff

As part of an ongoing investigation, two Queens real estate agents have been charged with defrauding 20 prospective tenants out of more than $65,000 in deposits and rents, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
“These arrests are the latest, stemming from our ongoing investigation of a Woodside realty company accused of preying on members of the Queens Latino community,” Brown said. “Sadly, this case represents an all-too-common scenario in which allegedly greedy realtors are accused of taking advantage of Queens County’s tight housing market to rob unsuspecting individuals of substantial amounts of their hard-earned savings. To date, our investigation has resulted in three arrests, alleging a total theft of more than $100,000 from 23 prospective tenants,” Brown said.
The matter was originally brought to the attention of Brown’s office by the television network, Univision, and then by Make The Road New York, an immigrant advocacy organization, and several prospective tenants who met with staff at the District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. The office developed the case by contacting alleged victims, Brown said.
Victor M. Oaxaca (aka Manny Hurtado), 43, of Woodside and Roger Garcia, 44, of Flushing were employed by Fast Solutions Realty (formerly known as Solucion Rapida) and Supreme Realty at 47-20 48th Avenue in Woodside, Brown said.
Oaxaca was arraigned on a criminal complaint charging him with third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, first-degree scheme to defraud, petit larceny and issuing a bad check. He was released under supervision at his arraignment at Queens Criminal Court and is due back in court on July 12. He is facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Garcia was arraigned on a criminal complaint charging him with third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, first-degree scheme to defraud and issuing a bad check. He was released without bail and is due back in court on July 12. Garcia is facing up to seven years in prison if convicted.
The charges are similar to those faced by another First Solutions realtor who was arrested at JFK Airport on May 16 and charged with taking tens of thousands of dollars in security deposits, agent fees and rental payments from 19 prospective tenants for apartments that were unavailable.
Brown said Rosita Tsiklauri (aka Rosita Tinoco, Rosie Villegas, Rosy Villegas and Rosy Tinoco), 47, of College Point, was charged with multiple counts of criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny, scheme to defraud and issuing a bad check.
Brown said that over a one-year period between November 2014 and October 2015, Tsiklauri allegedly took more than $76,000 from prospective tenants for apartments that were not available, and never returned the deposits.
In six instances, Tsiklauri provided the clients with refund checks that bounced because the account was blocked, frozen or had insufficient funds, Brown said.
Tsiklauri, Chief Executive Officer at Fast Solutions Realty and Supreme Realty, both formerly located at 47-20 48th Avenue in Woodside, placed online ads or advertisements in local publications announcing apartments that were available throughout Queens, Brown said.
Brown said between November 14, 2014 and October 18, 2015, Tsiklauri identified herself as a real estate agent for the two companies and that she or an accomplice allegedly showed apartments and collected $76,820 in security deposits and other fees from unsuspecting clients for apartments that were never available to them.
On several occasions, Tsiklauri allegedly agreed to return customer deposits, but failed to show up at a specific time and place to refund the money, Brown said, adding she also collected payments from more than one client for the same, unavailable apartment.
Brown said in one incident Tsiklauri told a client that the rent on an apartment on 77th Street in Jackson Heights was $2,400 a month, and that she needed $4,800 to cover the security deposit and agency fee. The unsuspecting victim went to Fast Solutions Realty and gave Tsiklauri $4,800 in cash and signed a rental lease for the apartment, expecting to move in at the beginning of August 2015. Tsiklauri later told the victim that the apartment was no longer available and kept the cash, Brown said.
Tsiklauri, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was held in lieu of $75,000 bond, $60,000 cash bail. She was ordered to surrender her US Passport until her court appearance.

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