Irish students left homeless in Brooklyn scam
Eight students scammed out of thousands in luxury loft apartment scam
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 of a scam that left him and seven others out of pocket for the past seven weeks. The 19-year-old student and his friends were duped out of thousands by two Brooklyn men posing as landlords of a luxurious spacious loft in Williamsburg.
The student, 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.”
The 19-year-old 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 student 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,” he 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,” he recalls.
“They even said they had purchased all the stuff from Home Depot to get started.”
Although feeling slightly uneasy, the Limerick student 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,” he added.
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, Study 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.
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