The Real Deal New York

Fake broker faces six years in jail for affordable housing scheme

Yelena Litvak allegedly targeted Russian immigrant community in Mitchell-Lama apartment fraud
By Will Parker | October 11, 2018 06:00PM

A silhouette of a broker and Southbridge Towers at 90 Beekman Street (Credit: Pixabay and Southbridge Towers)

A Sheepshead Bay woman who posed as a real estate agent will soon be moving into jail.

Yelena Litvak was sentenced to six years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to larceny charges. According to the Brooklyn District Attorney, Litvak pretended to be a leasing and sales agent for Mitchell-Lama affordable housing buildings across the city, targeting Russian immigrants from her local South Brooklyn neighborhood and promising she could secure them housing in exchange for fees.

Litvak received a total of $613,000 from 20 victims between January of 2017 and March of 2018, according to prosecutors. Buildings Litvak claimed to represent include the Kings Bay Housing Company in Brooklyn and the Southbridge Towers in Manhattan.

Litvak then took the cash to casinos across the country, where she lost it.

“The defendant cheated more than a dozen innocent people out of their life savings and hard-earned cash, then gambled it away,” Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “With today’s sentence, the defendant has been held accountable.”