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‘Landlord From Hell’ Gets 4 Months Jail Following Rent Scam

Apartment that was for rent

Jan. 31, 2014 By Michael Florio

An Astoria man who conned 14 victims by taking their deposits on an apartment that wasn’t available pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny earlier this month, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Mario Lalicata, a former teacher and community board one member, was sentenced to four months in prison and five years probation.

Lalicata, dubbed by some as the ‘landlord from Hell,’ would lure his victims with an ad on Craigslist for an apartment located at 25-55 48th Street, the same building where he lived.

He would show the victims the apartment and then ask for a security deposit, the first month’s rent and–in some cases–money to make improvements. Then, according to the district attorney’s office, Lalicata would become harder and harder to get in touch with, until eventually he could not be reached.

The sentence handed down also includes restitution to each of the victims listed in the indictment, which totals at $12,575. Lalicata is required to make monthly payments, with the final payments to be made on February 9, 2017, according to a spokeswoman for the Queens District Attorneys office said.

Lalicata was arrested on August 13, 2013. He was sentenced Jan. 9, 2014.

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