STUYVESANT TOWN — A mother and son duo have been charged with identity theft and multiple counts of forgery after trying to scam their way into a Peter Cooper Village apartment using a stolen identity, according to police and prosecutors.
Christine Thompson, 48, and her son, Christopher Vlado, 19, forged an identification card and ultimately signed a lease for an apartment in Peter Cooper Village using the victim's information, according to police and prosecutors.
Thompson first tried the scam at 12 E. 37th Street on April 17, where she showed up to apply for an apartment and presented a forged New York State identification card with her photo but the name and personal information of a victim of identity theft, according to prosecutors.
Thompson signed an application with the victim's name and provided two money orders signed with the victim's name, prosecutors said.
She then came to the leasing office of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village on April 22 accompanied by Vlado to try applying for another apartment, prosecutors said. There, she again presented the forged ID card and gave the leasing office a money order bearing the victim's supposed signature, prosecutors said.
The duo was aiming to rent an apartment at 370 First Ave., according to police.
When they returned to the office April 25 to sign the lease, Thompson signed the identity theft victim's name approximately 33 times on the agreement and gave the real estate company 12 money orders bearing the victim's supposed signature, prosecutors said.
Vlado acted in concert with her by going through the lease agreement with his mom and pointing out where to sign the victim's name, prosecutors said. He had also toured the apartment with her on April 14.
Thompson and Vlado were cuffed by police in the leasing office that afternoon, according to authorities.
Thompson ultimately admitted to a detective in the NYPD's identity theft task force that she had paid to obtain the theft victim's information, then provided that information along with her photo to someone who forged the fake driver's license, according to a criminal complaint.
On top of admitting she had used the victim's information to try and rent the apartments, Thompson also admitted she had no intention to pay the rent, the complaint states.
Thompson and Vlado were each charged with one count of identity theft and one count of possession of a forged instrument, court records show.
Thompson was hit with 48 counts of forgery, while Vlado was hit with 25 counts.
An attorney representing both Thompson and Vlado did not immediately return a request for comment.
Management at Peter Cooper Village did not immediately return a request for comment.