New York police say, Ricardo believed to have fled to the Dominican Republic after scamming thousands of dollars from at least 15 families seeking affordable housing.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
January 24, 2015
Inwood, New York - Both the U.S. and the Dominican Republic have joined efforts to locate Jennifer Ricardo, 33, a fake real estate leasing agent who scammed thousands of dollars from at least 15 families looking for affordable housing in Inwood. People presented the victims to Ricardo who promised that if they would pay her between $2,700 to $3,000 she could get them a secure apartment at a newly renovated city Inwood housing development located at 552 Academy Street managed by the city and the Community League of Heights who acquired the building.
One bedroom apartment units are rented for $720 and two bedrooms for $1,059 per month at the affordable multi-apartment complex and can only be acquired through a public lottery. Those selected from a lottery and approved would then get an apartment unit by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Ricardo promised the victims that she had city connections and once they paid her the entire fee for her service, she would then provide them with false leases and keys to apartment units. When the victims realized that they had been scammed, Ricardo was long gone with their money ($45,000). Police say, there could be more victims that Ricardo took advantage off during the scam operation.
Both New York Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez from District 10 and New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat along with the Dominican Republic Consulate in NY are working together to bring Ricardo to justice in the U.S.
The New York Police Department is also working with the Dominican Republic government to apprehend Ricardo and once arrested to extradite Ricardo to New York to face felony charges.