indica News Bureau-
A woman of Indian origin has been sentenced for up to six years in prison for duping home buyers of as much as $600,000, the Herald Publicist has reported.
Reshmi Maharaj, 53, of Queens, was convicted on charges of larceny and scheme to defraud and sentenced for between two and six years in jail. Maharaj apparently spent her ill-gotten gains on holidays, gambling and paying private bills.
Maharaj accepted deposits of up to $55,500 from a potential buyer of a house in Queens. In April 2015, a second potential buyer gave her four checks, adding up to $34,500, for a house she offered as a “short sale” in an identical neighborhood.
The second purchaser also paid an extra lump sum of $130,000 to safe the acquisition.
Maharaj repeated this rip-off a number of times, gathering deposits adding up to $176,200 for an additional dwelling and for “short-sale” purchases in Queens.
In 2016, she pocketed $199,000 from a third potential buyer who was looking for property in the area.
None of the buyers could get hold of the properties they had supposedly paid for.
Maharaj, meanwhile, spent the $594,700 she had collected on holidays, online casinos and private bills. She also made sizeable withdrawals in Trinidad and Tobago.
Queens Performing District Lawyer John Ryan said Maharaj duped her victims into believing that they had been paying to safe their dream dwelling or buy the property.
“Instead, the defendant selfishly pocketed their hard-earned money and spent the ill-gotten funds on personal items,” he said.