Fake broker sentenced to prison for Washington Heights scam

Juan Valoy targeted Hispanics and collected thousands in security deposits

Cyrus Vance
Cyrus Vance

Juan Valoy was sentenced to one to four years in prison Wednesday as a result of a scheme to defraud immigrants in the Washington Heights area by collecting fake security deposits on unavailable apartments.

Valoy pleaded guilty to the plot — which involved distributing fliers to members of the Hispanic community and showing them apartments that were in some cases already occupied. He collected thousands of dollars in supposed application fees and security deposits, and then failed to follow through on his promises to the applicants, in some cases severing contact completely.

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“Exploiting trust in order to commit theft is not capitalization—it’s a crime,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. “In this case, the defendant preyed on a community of immigrants, stealing thousands of dollars and leaving his victims broke and without a place to live.”

More than 20 complaints were filed against Valoy. [Press Release] — Tess Hofmann