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Astoria landlord charged for constructing illegal apartments and pocketing the rent

31-70 Crescent Street (GMaps)

Aug. 26, 2013 By Christian Murray

An Astoria landlord who illegally converted a 2-family house into five rental units was indicted for allegedly failing to vacate his rental property–and for taking tens of thousands of dollars from tenants when the building should have been empty.

Hinyoung Limtung, of 14-14 30th Road in Astoria, was ordered to vacate his 31-70 Crescent Street property in December 2012 after the Department of Buildings discovered that the house had been converted into 5 illegal units, according to the indictment.

When the Building Department followed up on returned Feb. 19, an inspector discovered the building had not been vacated. Instead, it had been converted again—from five units into nine units.

“The defendant is accused of flagrantly ignoring a Buildings Dept. order to vacate the premises,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “Instead, it is alleged he took large amounts of money from at least 10 individuals for illegal apartments that were uninhabitable fire traps.”

The Queens District Attorney’s office alleges that Limtung stole $44,000 from the tenants in rent between December 2012 and April 2013.

Limtung has been charged in a 32-count indictment that includes charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, reckless endangerment and petit larceny.

Limtung is out on $20,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court on October 21.

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