The Real Deal New York

Fake broker convicted, faces long stretch in jail

Ronald Johnson ran bogus agency called "Max Realty"
May 28, 2014 03:25PM

A Brooklyn man could face 15 years in jail after a jury convicted him earlier this month of felony larceny charges for falsely posing as a real estate broker.

Ronald Johnson handed out business cards from a make-belief firm called “Max Realty” in his ruse, and asked for $100 to conduct supposed credit checks, the New York Daily News reported. Johnson also scammed unsuspecting tenants out of their security deposits, according to the ruling.

“This verdict holds the defendant accountable for ripping off hardworking people who were simply trying to rent an apartment,” District Attorney Ken Thompson said following the ruling. 

Caroline Destin was one such apartment seeker, she told the Daily News. Johnson showed her an apartment on Ocean Avenue for $1,100 a month. Destin, along with at least two other hopeful tenants, received keys to the apartment from Johnson.

Prosecutors believe that the apartments Johnson showed were vacant units he broke into. He allegedly left the doors ajar for the interested parties to check out and visit.

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17. [NYDN] — Claire Moses