A con artist used stolen identities to rent luxury apartments for gang members in New York City — and business went so well that she drove a Bentley and lived in a luxury Manhattan building overlooking the Hudson, authorities say.
When federal agents arrested 35-year-old Latoya Williams at her Waterline Square home on W. 61st St., they found hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash on Wednesday, law enforcement sources said.
A murder in Queens helped the FBI unravel Williams’ plan, according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.
Police found the bullet-riddled body of a Makk Balla Brims member in Queens on Feb. 7, 2021, and a search of the dead man’s phone turned up a correspondence with Williams’ number – which was listed in his contact list as “Toya Apartments”, according to the complaint.
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That murder victim, Tyrone Jones, 37, was shot dead by Law and Order: SVU actor Isaiah Stokes, in a fight over a woman, police and prosecutors have said.
Williams has been running the rental scam since at least 2020, and “used forged identification documents, pay stubs, tax documents and other falsified paperwork to rent real estate and obtain utilities in upscale apartment buildings in and around New York City,” Williams said. to the complaint.
The victims whose identities she stole have been the target of lawsuits and collection agencies in an effort to recover months’ worth of unpaid rent, prosecutors say.
And police found five handguns hidden in a Brooklyn apartment they rented out to the Wood City gang, prosecutors said.
When law enforcement officers raided an apartment in Yonkers used by the Wood City gang in August 2021, they found more clues about her operation, including letters demanding that one of the victims of identity theft pay her late rent.
An investigation found that person and the name of a second victim on the leases of several other apartments, including two places in Brooklyn.
A Brooklyn management firm saved a photo of Williams as she viewed an apartment under one of the victim’s names in October 2020, and last November, the FBI kept an eye on her as she renewed the lease on an apartment in Bayonne, NJ, under one of the victim’s names. the other victim’s name, according to the other victim’s name. to the complaint.