The Real Deal New York

Ex-Astoria community board member jailed for rental scam

February 04, 2014 07:00PM

A former member of Queens’ Community Board 1 was sentenced to four months in prison for conning 14 people by taking rental deposits on an apartment that wasn’t available. Mario Lalicata, who pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny earlier this month, was also sentenced to five years of probation.

Lalicata would use Craigslist to lure his victims, and after showing them the apartment at 25-55 48th Street in Astoria, he would collect the first month’s rent and a security deposit.

After he collected the money, Lalicata would suddenly become very hard to reach, the Astoria Post reported. His sentence also requires him to make a total restitution of $12,575, a spokesperson for the Queens District Attorneys office told the newspaper. [Astoria Post]  – Hiten Samtani

  • yooooBROOO

    hahah how do these people let him get away with that? if i was the tenant and didn’t hear back from the landlord, id take a baseball bat to all the windows, graffiti the inside of the rooms, and break all his shit!!!!!!! n then id obv take a baseball bat to his FUKING FACE!!!!!

    • Ricky Roma

      Oh What A Big Man Youarre!

  • Victor

    Yet another fine supporter of the Kenyan makes the news.

  • CoreneGodoy

    Now Offer and leader have been fear for Involvement in any type of scam.

  • community leadership indeed

    Community Boards remind me of high school – the biggest a-holes join them because no one better would bother to take them to burnish their college application or just to have some claim of importance.

  • Jenna

    I was conned by this a-hole as well. Replied to a CL ad and I knew that it was too good a deal for what should’ve been 1.5x more than the rent he said it was. This douche actually showed me the still occupied apartment. Whilst there, the tenants were extremely upset with the condition of the apartment. Stupid of me to overlook this as well, blinded with the attractive price of the rent and the pipedream of only having to walk a couple of blocks to the subway. As expected by a seasoned scammer, he coerced me into making a hasty deposit since there were other prospects interested as well. I’m sure this was the only honest line this jerk said as its highly likely that many has looked at this same unit and have made deposits as well. He met with me and collected my deposit. He was suspiciously overzealous in showing me his (fake?) credentials (drivers license and a utility bill proving his residence). Anyway fast forward to when I *should have* been moving in, lo-and behold..he can’t be reached! After stalking his residence and calling him repeatedly, I threatened to file a police report AND taking legal actions. In a sad last attempt to keep my deposit, he had the audacity to have his wife call me pleading for time. “Honey this, sweety that”. Please save the sweet nothings to someone who can afford to use the bills to wipe his own ass, lady! He pleaded financial hardship from unpaid medical bills from a depleting health.

    I’m shocked that this article doesn’t mention his scamming counterpart, as she deserves to be imprisoned right next to her hubby. Always use a reputable RE agent folks and remember, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.