June 24, 2016 Staff Report
Two real estate agents who worked for a sketchy Woodside firm have been charged with fraud and grand larceny after allegedly bilking prospective tenants out of their security deposits, agent fees and rental payments on unavailable apartments.
The two real estate agents, who face a slew of charges, are not the first to be arrested in the Woodside real estate scam based out of 47-20 48th Avenue. Rosita Tsiklauri, the owner of the now-defunct enterprise, was charged in May of duping prospective tenants out of $77,000.
This time Victor Oaxaca, 43, of Woodside, and Roger Garcia, 44, of Flushing, who worked out of the 48th Avenue office for the firms Fast Solutions Realty and Supreme Realty, have been charged for allegedly taking a total of more than $65,000 in security deposits, agent fees and rental payments from prospective tenants, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
The defendants focused on taking advantage of the Queens Latino Community, according to the district attorney’s office. They allegedly duped 20 prospective tenants over a one-year period between 2014 and 2015, where they took their funds but never made the apartments available. They did not return their clients’ deposits.
In at least three instances in which prospective tenants were provided with a refund, the checks bounced or the account was frozen.
“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,” said Richard A. Brown, the Queens District Attorney, in a statement.
To date, the district attorney’s investigation into the Woodside firm has resulted in three arrests.
Oaxaca was arraigned yesterday 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. Oaxaca, who faces up to fifteen years in prison if convicted, was released under supervision and ordered to return to court on July 12, 2016.
Garica was also arraigned yesterday 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. Garcia, who faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court also on July 12, 2016.