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Bogus Broker Took $5K from Victim for SoHo Apartment, Police Say

By Danielle Tcholakian | April 23, 2014 5:41pm | Updated on April 24, 2014 11:05am
 A man paid more than $5,000 to someone who promised him a rental on at 98-100 Thompson St., police said.
A man paid more than $5,000 to someone who promised him a rental on at 98-100 Thompson St., police said.
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SOHO — A scammer stole more than $5,000 from a would-be apartment hunter, promising the man access to a SoHo apartment and then disappearing, police said.

Michael Forman, 72, collected $4,200 for first and last month's rent for an apartment at 98-100 Thompson St. from a 47-year-old man in early February, the NYPD said.

Forman met his victim at the Citibank at 555 LaGuardia Place in the Village, according to court documents, and promised the man he could move into the apartment on March 1, according to his criminal complaint.

But on March 1, Forman told the man he needed $900 more in order to secure the apartment. After the man turned over the money, Forman stopped returning calls, police said. 

The building's management company told police that Forman does not have any connection to the building, and did not have the authority to promise the man an apartment, police said.

The man reported the incident to police on April 14, and Forman was subsequently arrested and charged with grand larceny.

His attorney said the case shouldn't be in criminal court at all.

"I think this is a civil issue, not a criminal one," said the lawyer, Andrew Bernstein.

Other notable incidents in the Sixth Precinct include:

► Police said they spotted Steven Gonzalez, 18, crawling under the turnstiles at the subway station at Eighth Avenue and 14th Street at 12:24 a.m. on April 20. When officers stopped him, they found he was carrying a fake ID, police said.

Gonzalez was arrested and charged with forgery. Information on his attorney was not immediately available.

 An officer spotted Yolanda Brown-Monaco, 33, snatch $20 from the hand of a 52-year-old man at an ATM, police said.

Police said the theft occurred at 3:05 a.m. on April 16 at the Capital One at 347 Sixth Ave. Brown-Monaco ran off but was caught by the officer and arrested on charges of grand larceny, police said. Information on her attorney was not immediately available.

► A man was caught with an open container of beer in a 16-ounce paper cup at Eighth Avenue and West 14th Street on April 15, police said.

Police asked Mithaq Muzib, 27, for ID and he gave them someone else's New York State driver's license, police said. Muzib insisted it was his, but when police patted him down they found another ID in his front right jeans pocket belonging to yet another person.

Police said Muzib had an open warrant for shoplifting. He was arrested at 2:13 a.m. and charged with false impersonation. Information on his attorney was not immediately available.