Guilty plea in $9M bogus Harlem sale

April 09, 2010 03:56PM

Henry Vargas and 21-41 Lenox Avenue (Building photo source: PropertyShark)

A Queens man who signed a contract to sell the Triangle Building in Harlem which he did not own for $8.5 million pleaded guilty today in New York State Supreme Court, authorities said.

Henry Vargas, 36, admitted to entering a contract to sell the property at 21-41 Lenox Avenue — between 111th and 112th streets — to a non-profit running organization called the New York Road Runners Club in the fall of 2008, the office of the Manhattan district attorney said.

In 2007, Vargas put up a series of billboards promoting himself as a developer and property owner. 

In addition, the non-profit put a $1 million down payment in escrow, prosecutors said. Vargas was charged for the scheme in October 2009.

Vargas, of College Point, Queens, pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny and forgery, and is expected to be sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. TRD


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