FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Queens Man Indicted for Allegedly Stealing Approximately $100,000
From Woman in Mortgage Rescue Scam
Defendant Allegedly Took Monthly Payments, But Failed to Apply Them to Mortgage
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today 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 today 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-years-old, 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.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.