Mount Vernon realty company accused of swindling multiple clientsPosted: Updated:
Two Mount Vernon realtors have been accused of ripping off vulnerable clients with the promise of a new home.
Mary Rodriguez says she gave $4,600 to Radio Real Estate last October in order to secure a low-cost Section 8 apartment. The opportunity felt like a new lease on life for the disabled Poughkeepsie resident.
"I thought I was moving in finally in a beautiful area, the apartment was beautiful," says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez says the deal ended up being too good to be true. After failing to secure the apartment, Radio Real Estate owner Dawn Smith allegedly promised in a series of text messages that the money would be refunded. Rodriguez says the money never came.
Rodriguez is now homeless. She filed a small claim against Radio Real Estate Friday, hoping a judge will force the company to return her money.
News 12 tried to visit the business located at 113 South Fourth Ave., but only found bars and a "for rent" sign. Nearby business owners say Dawn and her husband Tim Smith were kicked out by a landlord three weeks ago for not paying rent.
After several attempted calls to the business, Dawn Smith answered and provided an explanation.
"We are not those people, we went through a traumatic situation where we lost everything and we are going to make amends and refund the balance," said Dawn Smith.
Other online reviews claim Radio Real Estate ripped them off also, but Smith claims they are only customers who did not get what they wanted right away.
Smith is now promising to return Rodriguez's money by Jan. 17.
"Con artists that’s what I think they are," says Rodriguez. "That’s not fair, that’s not right, you don’t do that to people."
News 12 has filed several open records requests with the state relating to the company and is waiting to hear back. A past lawsuit against Radio Real Estate has been discovered for breach of contract and negligence.