Turn to Tara: Alleged housing scam targeted immigrants
Some immigrants in the Greenburgh area say they fell victim to an alleged rental scam targeting Spanish speakers.
Jorge Ordonez says his trouble started after he responded to an ad hanging in a laundromat for an inexpensive basement rental along Orchard Street. He claims the place wasn't in great shape, but found the $1,000 monthly rent affordable.
Ordonez says he then handed over a $1,700 deposit to Jeffrey Pena.
Pena was nowhere to be found despite News 12’s repeated attempts to reach him.
Other immigrants say they were also trying to move in to the same unit and fell victim to the alleged scam.
"I went to court four times and he never showed up," says Pedro Verta.
News 12 has discovered a legal paper trail dating back to 2016, with other reported victims who won judgements in small claims court.
Sylvia Zuniga says she too never got her security deposit back.
"Maybe I’m not going to get my money back, which is bad, but I don't want this to keep happening to other people," she says.