Fake real estate agent accused of stealing $24,000 from would-be renters in Manhattan

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NEW YORK — A 33-year-woman is being accused of pretending to be a real estate agent and falsely collecting more than $24,000 from unsuspecting renters in upper Manhattan.

Police say Jennifer Ricardo of the Bronx was arrested Monday on charges of grand larceny and scheme to defraud after a two-month investigation. Information on her attorney was not immediately available.

Police say Ricardo promised would-be renters spots in an Academy Street building in Washington Heights that was undergoing renovations. In some cases, police say she even issued fake leases and bogus keys in exchange for cash deposits.

When some of the victims went to the building to move in, they were told by management that they had been scammed.

Ricardo fled to her native Dominican Republic before returning to New York to face charges.

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