When will you learn! Craigslist scam finds 8 more victims.

By APRIL DREW Irish Voice Reporter

Eight Irish students were scammed out of thousands of dollars after being told a luxurious loft apartment was available to them for summer rental in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

One of the victims, 19, was one of thee victims of a scam that left him and seven others out of pocket for the past seven weeks. The victim and his friends were duped out of thousands by two Brooklyn men posing as landlords of a luxurious spacious loft in Williamsburg.

One of the victims, from Limerick City, came to New York on May 28 with one thing in mind — “to have great fun, work, get out of Limerick and experience all New York has to offer.”

One of the victims, a psychology student at the University of Limerick, was staying with his uncle in the city for a few days when a friend also in New York for the summer notified him that she had found “an amazing” loft apartment on Craigslist.

The ad offered rooms for rent “in a brand new, huge, two-floor loft in the absolute best part of Brooklyn” for $1,100 per room per month.

The ad also said that existing roommates in the loft included a carefully selected great group of students, artists, actors/models, interns and those interested in film and TV production.”

Impressed with the offer, the victim and two of his friends took a trip out to Brooklyn to meet with the two men leasing the loft.

“The ad sounded amazing. It said the loft had all the amenities, including air conditioning, roof access, gym access, laundry facilities, everything we needed for a comfortable summer,” One of the victims told the Irish Voice during his lunch break on Tuesday.

“However, when we got there the place was like one big warehouse.”

The two men doing the leasing, Desmond Eaddy and Ronnie Barron, told the students that plans were in place to get the loft turned into rooms in a matter of days.

“They told us this wasn’t like Ireland. Things get done super fast here, and they promised to have the place divided into eight rooms in a few days,” recalls one of the victims.

“They even said they had purchased all the stuff from Home Depot to get started.”

Although feeling slightly uneasy, one of the victims and his two friends weren’t deterred and agreed to move in. They even rounded up another five Irish students who were seeking accommodations.

“We were really naïve about the whole thing looking back, but we really wanted it to be true,” added one of the victims.

By the end of the following week, they each had handed over $1,000 – some forked out $1,200 — and were anxious to move in.

While the loft was apparently being renovated into an eight-bedroom apartment, one of the victims and his friends were allowed to sleep on the floor of another apartment, which Eaddy and Barron used as an apartment too.

“It was getting crazy because the tenants in this apartment were becoming outraged that there was so many of us sleeping on their floor, so finally we were kicked out and had to find our own place with no money cause we had handed it over for the rent,” he explains.

One of the victims and the rest of the students were told that apartment would be ready to move into on June 15. That date was pushed back to 17, then to 20 then to 23, and finally they were told it would be the middle of July before it would be ready.

“At this stage we were becoming very frustrated and finding it very hard to live day to day because we had no money,” said the Limerick man.

One of the victims and his friends would visit the apartment on various occasions to see its progress, but there never was any.

“At one point they used the excuse that we couldn’t move in because the place was freshly painted and the fumes were too dangerous,” said one of the victims.

A trip to the apartment a few days later revealed dry walls that had not been painted. Trying to work and find a place to stay each night was becoming a challenge.

“I had a long way to travel to my job and then at times I didn’t know where I’d be sleeping that night,” he said.

One of the victim’s first job in Coney Island saw him bussing tables and earning $7 an hour. He was just about able to feed himself. He recently stared a job in a hotel in Times Square, but his weekly income is $270 a week.

“One night at 3 a.m. after work in Coney Island I went back to the apartment we were given to tide us over and these guys (Eaddy and Barron) told me I couldn’t stay there because the place was too full, so I had to take all my gear and ride the subway to a hostel on the Upper East Side,” one of the victims said.

The weekend of July 4 the students were told they could start to move in their gear. Finally light at the end of the tunnel they thought. That was until one of the victims had dropped off his gear — in the still unfinished loft — and upon returning discovered that the place was locked up.

“I had no access of my bags or clothes for four days straight,” he shared.

At this stage the landlord of the building was made aware that Eaddy and Barron planned to sublet the lot as apartments and make a bit of money off it on the side.

According to one of the victims, the landlord told them at a meeting last week that the building was for commercial business only and never intended or allowed legally to be turned into apartments. Eaddy and Barron had a verbal contract with the landlord to rent the loft for the purpose of shooting videos.

“We were stunned. Finally we were being told that our dream loft was never going to happen,” said one of the victims.

Eaddy and Barron would not return their calls, and finally after days of persistence one of the victims managed to get only $80 back from the two men. He is still waiting on the remainder of his money, as are the rest of the Irish students.

“If I could get that money back I may be able to live out the final seven weeks of my time in New York in a good way, but we’ll see,” he said.

Eaddy and Barron have been reported to the police for their actions.

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Written by Lorenzo

Lorenzo has been hanging around the RDNY.com office for the past 20 years, and, in the process, has become the president of RDNY.com, Rent-Direct.com, and Acmelistings.com. His mission is to build RDNY.com into New York's largest no fee apartment rental service. Before RDNY.com, Lorenzo was a Regional Sales Manager for Time Equities, Inc., one of New York's largest converters of rental buildings to coops and condos. Lorenzo was once a part owner of Swift & Watson Real Estate in NYC's Greenwich Village.

This article has 14 comments

  1. Linda Reply

    Its a shame how many people get scammed on the Internet, especially with apartment rentals. These students started off on the right foot, asking to visit the property before handing over any money, but their vigilance unfortunately went downhill from there. I understand people can get excited over the thought of “what could be” when presented with an offer that seems too good to be true. But I would never rent an apartment that is still under construction with the “promise” that it will be transformed into something completely different by the time I move in.

    It might have been a good idea for these Irish students to have asked to see a copy of the lease. The lease would have likely said “for commercial use only” not residential, that would be the next clue that something isn’t right. And a “verbal” lease is just about useless.

    For more tips on spotting and avoiding rental scams, visit my Blog at
    https://www.nyhabitat.com/blog/2009/04/29/more-tips-apartment-rental-scams/

    Happy Travels and Safe Renting!

    Linda

  2. Regina Reply

    Wow! What’s funny is that I responded to the same ad and the Desmond guy called and chatted me up a bit. However, I was in a position to take my time and to be picky. When he said that it was going to be a communal or dorm type of setting, that turned me off right there.

    What’s funny is the conversation shifted to what I do as he said he possibly wanted to hire me. I’m a freelancer, and he said he wanted to see my FB profile. I keep it locked up pretty tight, but made an exception. He never followed up with me via message or phone call, so I, eventually removed him maybe 2 or 3 weeks after that.

    It was just really odd the way he described the set-up and, since I was living in Williamsburg at that time, I had a pretty clear idea of how apartments were set up. Usually it’s a range of newer buildings that are pretty expensive, renovated lofts (which is what he was making this sound like it would be), or older brownstone style buildings. Since I’d lived in the latter and was lucky enough to currently be in a newer building when he contacted me, I decided to pass on a communal loft setting. I’m sad to here these folks got ripped off by him and his partner.

  3. Shelley Hakonson Reply

    Does anybody know of a person named Ann Clark, an “agent” for another person named Tammy Lagomarsino who evidently lives in Parma, Ohio?
    I think I was just scammed by them for an rental apartment in N.Y. for Oct.
    Pretty sure of it, actually.
    Are there ANY reputable vacation rental ads on the N.Y. Craigslist?

  4. H ROSE Reply

    Wondering abot Ann Clark, vacation rental?
    Was this a scam, just booked also?

  5. Shelley Hakonson Reply

    yes..Ann Clark and this Tammy Lagomarsino in Ohio are scammers.
    They got us and I want to let it be known out there that they are despicable people.
    Craigslist is NOT the place to find a rental, go to a legitimate site and pay the extra money, it’s worth it in the long run!

  6. lillian Reply

    another agent John ALlen wants to rent me an apt. from Tammy Lagomarsino from Parma Ohio.. I just saw you posting so I am not going to rent it.. can u email me to discuss..saw it on backpage not craig Lilllian

  7. Shelley Hakonson Reply

    Hi Lillian, I just saw your response here, email me if you like.
    We eventually went through Homeaway.com for a reliable place to stay, I recommend them.
    Shelley

  8. Marina Reply

    DSoes anyone know anything about a James Wagner offering a 2 BR flat in LIC New York for $1400? I think it might be a scam because he has asked for a western unoin trnsfer. I wanted to check whether he was a known scammer.

  9. Abbe Reply

    Shelley, how were you scammed? Did you get to NY and have no place to stay?

    Shelley Hakonson says:
    September 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm
    Does anybody know of a person named Ann Clark, an “agent” for another person named Tammy Lagomarsino who evidently lives in Parma, Ohio?
    I think I was just scammed by them for an rental apartment in N.Y. for Oct.
    Pretty sure of it, actually.

  10. Shelley Hakonson Reply

    Hi Abbe, it was online thru Craigslist, looking back on it.. it was too good to be tue and it certainly wasn’t. I wouldn’t trust Craigslist for apartment rentals at all. Another life experience…

  11. NYC Intern Reply

    Hey I think James Wagner is a fraud. I was looking into his place which was like $1,2000 for a month and he said he is UK cause he got transferred… I think its a scam

    • Lorenzo Reply

      Who is James Wagner?
      Which listing are you referring to as a potential fraud?

      Thank you,
      Larry for Customer Support
      RDNY.com

  12. FunCity Luxury Aparments - FRAUDULENT Reply

    They are a SHAM being investigated by FBI. Please do not send money. We have lost moneyh and were tricked.

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