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Three Coney Islanders cuffed in affordable housing scheme

Authorities arrested three suspects for an alleged scheme to get housing at coveted Mitchell-Lama apartments.
Brooklyn Paper
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Cops cuffed three Coney Island residents on Wednesday for allegedly scamming their way into cheap apartments at a highly sought-after Coney Island cooperative.

The suspects submitted forged letters, birth and marriage certificates, and bank records to fool officials at the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development into believing they were relatives of previous tenants at the Luna Park Housing Cooperative, allowing them to “inherit” their units and skip the decades-long waitlist for housing at the coveted Mitchell-Lama, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzelez.

The arrests come four months after police cuffed three board members at the Luna Park Housing Corporation — the body which manages the sprawling, five-story complex housing 6,000 people — for spearheading the scheme. Those defendants were accused of helping applicants forge documents to obtain the coveted apartments in exchange for steep bribes totaling $874,000, which the women allegedly spent on luxury goods.

On Thursday, Gonzalez slammed the three defendants for the scam that ultimately robbed deserving low-income families of affordable housing, claiming some applicants have been waiting for an apartment at the Mitchell-Lama since the early 90s.

“Their alleged actions deprived honest, law-abiding home seekers a chance to obtain affordable housing, so we will now seek to bring these defendants to justice for their respective roles in this alleged corrupt scheme,” he said.

Two of the defendants — age 40 and 71 — allegedly conspired to illegally transfer an apartment by providing a fake letter, marriage and birth certificates, and bank records between 2015 and 2016 to prove that the 71-year-old tenant was the mother of the younger suspect.

The third defendant, 64, provided similar fake documentation to prove that he had resided in another unit for over a year and that he was the brother of the apartment’s previous tenant.

On Oct. 16, Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Michael Yavinsky arraigned the suspects and charged them with multiple counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, first-degree falsifying business records and one count of second-degree making an apparently sworn false statement. The defendants were released on bail, and will return to court in December.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Updated 3:01 pm, October 17, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Surprise Surprise from Not says:
These programs are laced with nonsense like this. All you hear is how this one and that one are hiding their income to get these apartments. Once they get them, a lot of them rent them out for more money to turn a quick profit. NYC land of the FREE, home of the BRIBE.
Oct. 18, 2019, 4:43 am
NYC guy from Coney Island says:
Please investigate Shorefront Towers Housing management at 3045 West 29th Street. They do the same bribery schemes. They refused my parents in law who were no waiting list for 10 years and got someone else. No reasons to explain why. I tried to complain but complain went to the parent company who owns the building and there is obviously conflict of interest and that complain just died there. The complains should be handled by completely independent office otherwise it's just waste of effort as they don't want to process any complains for their employees as it brings bad publicity for them as well.
Oct. 18, 2019, 9:44 am

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