The Real Deal New York

Rapid Realty agent arrested for allegedly swindling clients

July 17, 2013 12:30PM

UPDATED, July 17, 3:19 p.m.: A Rapid Realty agent was arrested last week for allegedly bilking clients out of more than $5,000, DNAinfo reported.

Brian Fuller — who worked out of the Park Slope North office, at 177 Fourth Avenue, of the massive rental franchise — was charged with four counts of grand larceny and five counts of petit larceny. A criminal complaint filed by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office alleged that the 25-year-old licensed salesperson took advantage of his clients’ naiveté.

A Rapid Realty broker noticed a discrepancy in one of Fuller’s deals on a routine spot check. This led to an internal investigation that resulted in Fuller’s termination, a brokerage spokesperson told The Real Deal.

“We contacted the authorities to ask for their assistance, and the broker who discovered the discrepancy accompanied the aggrieved client to file an official complaint against Mr. Fuller,” the spokesperson said. “We worked with the police to aid their discovery, and ultimately an arrest was made.”

According to the complaint, Fuller told a client in April he “needed to put money down to be held in escrow” before he could be shown an apartment. The client then handed Fuller $500 in cash at a Bay Ridge Citibank, according to the complaint cited by DNAinfo. Fuller allegedly showed the client an apartment he didn’t like, promising to keep the $500 in an escrow account. The client continued to pay Fuller varying amounts to visit apartments, each of which he declined to rent, the complaint claims. Despite several requests from the client, Fuller allegedly refused to return the funds.

A Rapid Realty employee told investigators she reviewed the firm’s accounts and found no record of Fuller setting up an escrow account for the client, the criminal complaint states. The complaint lists another instance in May in which Fuller held onto three money orders from a prospective renter. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer