Bronx DA: Bronx Woman Pleads Guilty To Stealing More Than $27,000 From Nine People in Affordable Housing Rent Scam


Defendant Must Pay Victims Back or Face Jail Time;

Defendant Threatened Some Victims with Deportation


          Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx woman has pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny for stealing $27,600 in deposits for rent-stabilized apartments she did not deliver. A judge ordered the defendant to pay the money back or she will be sentenced to 1-3 years in prison.


District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant took deposits from people desperately looking for an affordable apartment and never delivered a key and finalized lease. Not only did she steal more than $27,000 from nine people, but she also threatened several of the victims that she would call immigration authorities to have them deported. She pleaded guilty and has been ordered to pay restitution or face jail time. We will not tolerate these deplorable rent scams that hurt Bronx residents.”


          District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Stephanie Antonio, 27, of East 182nd Street, pleaded guilty September 22, 2022 before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus to third-degree Grand Larceny with a promised sentence of 1-3 years in prison. Judge Marcus ordered the defendant to pay $28,980 ($27,600 plus a five percent restitution surcharge) in restitution in monthly payments to the victims. If the defendant pays the restitution in full, she will replead to Petit Larceny and will be given probation, instead of serving time in prison.


        According to the investigation, between May 17, 2019 and September 30, 2019, Antonio told victims she was an employee of a property management company and that she was a licensed realtor. Although she was briefly employed by the property management company, it was only to take photos for its Instagram page, and Antonio used that position to gain access to keys for apartments. The victims gave her $2,200-$4,000 deposits for apartments she could not deliver.


       According to the investigation, Antonio intimidated multiple victims by threatening to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and have them deported if they were to go to police. In one instance, she filed an assault case against one victim that was later dropped when the victim showed proof that she was working at the time.


          The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Samantha Sizemore of the Economic Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of John Oxenreiter, Supervisor in the Economic Crimes Bureau, Michelle Milanes, Deputy Chief of the Economic Crimes Bureau, and Herman Wun, Chief of the Economic Crimes Bureau, and under the overall supervision of Denise Kodjo, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and Wanda Perez-Maldonado, Chief of the Investigations Division.


  District Attorney Clark thanked BXDA Chief Investigator Frank J. Chiara, Deputy Chief Investigator Terence Mulderrig, Lieutenant Vincent Cantarella, Detective Investigator Anai Tamarez and Forensic Accountant Julio Santiago for their assistance in the investigation.


District Attorney Clark thanked the NYPD Bronx Grand Larceny Squad, specifically Detective Kenneth Hines.

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