Queens Man Slapped with Charges in Long Run­ning Mort­gage Scam

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - Edited by: JV Staff

Act­ing Brook­lyn District At­tor­ney Eric Gon­za­lez last week an­nounced that a Queens man has been in­dicted on charges of grand lar­ceny for al­legedly steal­ing ap­prox­i­mately $100,000 from a woman who hired him to help save her East New York home from fore­clo­sure.

Act­ing District At­tor­ney Gon­za­lez said, “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. She's now lost her home, but we hope to get jus­tice for her by hold­ing this de­fen­dant ac­count­able.”

The Act­ing District At­tor­ney iden­ti­fied the de­fen­dant as Ravin Lakhram, 45, of Ja­maica, Queens. He was ar­raigned last week be­fore Brook­lyn Supreme Court Jus­tice Danny Chun on an in­dict­ment in which he is charged with se­cond- and third-de­gree grand lar­ceny. He faces up to five to 15 years in prison if con­victed on the top count. He was or­dered held on bail of $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash and to re­turn to court on De­cem­ber 6, 2017.

The Act­ing District At­tor­ney said that, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, in June 2010, the vic­tim, who was then 56-year­sold, feared she was in danger of los­ing her two-fam­ily house, lo­cated on New Jer­sey Av­enue in East New York, Brook­lyn, to fore­clo­sure. A ten­ant of hers in­tro­duced her to the de­fen­dant, who claimed he could get her monthly mort­gage pay­ments of ap­prox­i­mately $2,600 re­duced through a mod­i­fi­ca­tion. The de­fen­dant, how­ever, did not ac­tu­ally cause the mort­gage pay­ments to be re­duced.

It is al­leged that the de­fen­dant told the vic­tim that he was able to get her monthly mort­gage pay­ment re­duced to ap­prox­i­mately $1,567 a month. From ap­prox­i­mately June 25, 2010, un­til ap­prox­i­mately De­cem­ber 31, 2015, the vic­tim paid the de­fen­dant ap­prox­i­mately $1,567 a month which he was sup­posed to put to­wards her mort­gage. In­stead, he al­legedly kept the money, more than $90,000, and did not for­ward any of it to the com­pa­nies hold­ing the mort­gage. The house even­tu­ally went into fore­clo­sure and the woman's at­tor­ney re­ferred the case to the District At­tor­ney's of­fice.

The case was in­ves­ti­gated by

Se­nior As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Joseph A. DiBenedetto and De­tec­tive In­ves­ti­ga­tor John Peters of the Brook­lyn District At­tor­ney's Of­fice, with as­sis­tance from As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Gavin Miles, Coun­sel to the District At­tor­ney's Frauds Bureau.

The case is be­ing pros­e­cuted by Se­nior As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Joseph DiBenedetto, of the District At­tor­ney's Cy­ber Crimes Unit/Frauds Bureau, un­der the su­per­vi­sion of As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Dana Roth, Deputy Chief of the Frauds Bureau, and As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Richard K. Far­rell, Chief of the Real Es­tate Frauds Unit, and the over­all su­per­vi­sion of As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District At­tor­ney's In­ves­ti­ga­tions Di­vi­sion.

The Act­ing District At­tor­ney iden­ti­fied the de­fen­dant as Ravin Lakhram, 45, of Ja­maica, Queens. He was ar­raigned last week be­fore Brook­lyn Supreme Court Jus­tice Danny Chun on an in­dict­ment in which he is charged with se­cond- and third­de­gree grand lar­ceny

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