Real Estate News
Tottenville woman acting as a real estate agent accused of ripping off potential tenants
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.-- A Tottenville woman acting as a real estate agent duped potential tenants into paying thousands in rental fees for an apartment they never secured, authorities allege. Caryn Celestina, 61, of Sunset Lane, allegedly showed an apartment ...
By Mira Wassef
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.-- A Tottenville woman acting as a real estate agent duped potential tenants into paying thousands in rental fees for an apartment they never secured, authorities allege.
Caryn Celestina, 61, of Sunset Lane, allegedly showed an apartment to the victims in May and October, and collected two checks in excess of $1,000 for the rental fees, according to the criminal complaint.
The defendant cashed both checks, police said.
The victim, Tracy Vitale, paid Celestina $2,600 for a deposit and broker's fee for a basement apartment in Tottenville that was advertised on Craigslist, according to a PIX11 report.
But the deal fell through, and Celestina only returned half the money, the article said.
Celestina told the Advance that she does owe Vitale $1,300, and claims she told the woman she needed five to 10 business days to pay her back.
"She (the victim) didn't want to wait," Celestina said
"That's all it was
It should've never gotten to this point."
Celestina was arrested Monday and charged with two counts of grand larceny, two counts of petit larceny and two counts of criminal possession of stolen property, said the complaint.
The defendant was arraigned Monday in Criminal Court and released on her own recognizance, said a spokesman for the district attorney's office.
"I had no intention of hurting her," Celestina said.
When asked if she was a licensed real estate agent, Celestina then referred further questions to her lawyer.
The lawyer did not immediately contact the Advance Tuesday evening.
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