Williamsburg loft scam leaves summer travelers out thousands of dollars in rent

July 19, 2010 11:30AM

More than a dozen out-of-town college students and young professionals
were duped out of thousands of dollars in rent this summer by two
Brooklyn men who purported to be lease holders of a luxury loft space
at the new 175 Powers Street development in Williamsburg, according to
the Post. The alleged scam artists, Desmond Eaddy and Ronnie Barron,
advertised the space on Craigslist — rooms “in a brand new, huge,
two-floor loft in the absolute best part of Brooklyn” with a “carefully
selected great group of students, artists, actors/models, interns and
those interested in film and TV production” — for $1,100 per month.
The pair had an agreement with the building owners to use the space for
film and television production, but no lease and “no right to collect
deposits,” co-owner Abe Jacob said. That didn’t stop them from hiring
contractors to convert the commercial space into a would-be
eight-bedroom illegal hostel, current tenants of the building told the
Post. But the construction was never completed, they said, and after a
number of stall tactics, Eaddy and Barron allegedly stopped returning
calls from expectant subtenants. They ultimately collected at least
$14,000 from the victims. [Post]