Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of JUAN VALOY, 36, to 1 1/3-to-4 years in state prison for stealing thousands of dollars from the victims of a Washington Heights apartment scam. On June 10, 2015, VALOY pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.
“Exploiting trust in order to commit theft is not capitalization—it’s a crime,” said District Attorney Vance. “In this case, the defendant preyed on a community of immigrants, stealing thousands of dollars and leaving his victims broke and without a place to live. Unfortunately, housing scams like this one are increasingly common in densely populated cities like New York, and I encourage anyone who believes that he or she may have been the victim of a similar scam to call my Office’s Immigrant Affairs Hotline at 212-335-3600, regardless of immigration status.”
According to his guilty plea and documents filed in court, VALOY distributed flyers in the Hispanic community and fraudulently offered to rent multiple apartments in Washington Heights. Posing as a broker, the defendant showed his victims apartments that he claimed were available to lease, and then accepted payments of as much as $5,500 for supposed application fees and security deposits. However, after collecting his victims’ money, VALOY delayed move-in dates, ignored victims’ repeated calls, or severed contact entirely.
In multiple cases, the apartments shown to victims by VALOY were, in fact, already occupied by other residents. In total, more than 20 complaints were filed against VALOY and his co-defendants for fraudulent fees and payments.
Assistant District Attorney Mayerling Rivera handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Archana Rao, Principal Deputy Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Michael Sachs, Chief of the Financial Frauds Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. Principal Financial Investigator Biagio Rosano, of Forensic Accounting and Financial Investigations, provided additional assistance with the case.
JUAN VALOY, D.O.B. 5/7/1979
- Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
- Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, 1 count
- 1 1/3-to-4 years in state prison
- $4,000 restitution