BROOKLYN — A Queens man tricked an East New York homeowner into giving him tens of thousands of dollars after he promised to help her reduce her mortgage payments, but he pocketed the money instead, leading to the foreclosure of her home, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Ravin Lakhram, 45, was indicted in Brooklyn Supreme Court Tuesday morning on charges of grand larceny for stealing about $100,000 from a Brooklyn woman who had hired him to help her avoid foreclosure, according to acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
The victim, 56, transferred her New Jersey Avenue home to her son in 2004, and moved back in about 2006, according to court records. During that time, and unbeknownst to her, he had taken out a $405,000 loan on the property, and it wasn’t until 2010 that she found out that no one had been making payments and the home was in danger of foreclosure, prosecutors said.
On the advice of a tenant, she approached Lakhram, who billed himself as a mortgage modifier, to help her bring down the monthly payments of $2,600, and he pledged his help, according to the indictment. Lakhram told the woman that he had renegotiated the payments to $1,567 per month, and told her to give the cash to him to be forwarded to the lender, prosecutors said.
Between June 25, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2015, Lakhram simply pocketed the monthly payments, never once passing it along to the lender, ultimately stealing around $100,000 from the woman and her son, and they subsequently lost the home to foreclosure, according to Gonzalez.
“When the victim in this case hired the defendant to help save her house she had no idea he was allegedly a heartless crook who was pocketing her hard earned cash, even though he knew his scam would eventually cost her dearly,” Gonzalez said. “She’s now lost her home, but we hope to get justice for her by holding this defendant accountable.”
Lakhram was indicted Tuesday on two counts of grand larceny, and faces up to between five and 15 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. A judge ordered him held on $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail, and he is due back in court Dec. 6.
Contact information for Lakhram was not immediately available.