ID Theft Scandal Rocked Ozone Park Building; Some Park Village tenants say they still live in fear

ID Theft Scandal Rocked Ozone Park Building; Some Park Village tenants say they still live in fear

PHOTO:  Cops last month put an end to a large-scale credit card fraud operation that was run out of a 2nd floor residence at Park Village Condominiums. However, some tenants say they still live in fear and lament the decline in the quality of life at the Ozone Park building.  Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza

Part 4 of a Series

Some tenants of the Ozone Park building in which investigators recently discovered a large-scale credit card fraud operation have said their residential quality of life has nosedived since the alleged perpetrators of the scheme moved in to the 2nd-floor Park Village condominium last October.

As of Wednesday, the residence, which was leased to Shantelle Walker, 32, remained empty and padlocked. Walker is behind bars in Nassau County on fraud charges.

Last month, police executed an early-morning raid and search warrant at Walker’s condo in the Centreville Street building.

Jacques Joseph, 32, and Kaeshawn Kerr, 21, have been charged with dozens of counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and criminal possession of a forgery device with the intent to use; both D felonies. Joseph is believed to be Walker’s boyfriend.

“It’s been a horrible year for [the tenants] and the year isn’t even over yet,” said Mary Walsh, owner of the padlocked pad that was leased to Walker.

Walsh has said that she feels like she was “betrayed” by the real estate saleswoman who represented Walker in the lease agreement; a claim the woman has vehemently denied.

It seems Walker’s fellow tenants are caught in the middle.

In the months prior to the July police action, a source with ties to the building told The Forum that “tenants are scared…living in fear”—one woman admitted she was “petrified”—of the element that Walker’s condo would attract “at all hours”; the hallways damp with the pungent scent of marijuana smoke; characters parading in and out of the apartment.

“Why do good, hardworking people have to keep becoming victims of this?!” the source exclaimed.

Earlier this month, Joseph allegedly tried to gain access to the building and Walker’s condo, even though police instructed him to stay away from Park Village following his arrest.

According to tenants, Joseph sat in a car with a friend in front of the building—for seven hours.

“People kept calling me, nervous; they didn’t know what he was going to do,” said Leonard Falcone, Park Village’s building manager.

Falcone said one resident was so afraid that they packed up and slept at a friend’s house that night.

“They’re still nervous that people will return,” Falcone added, “and that all of that behavior will return.”

Walker is scheduled to be released on Sept. 29. Her Park Village lease expires at midnight on Sept. 30.

By Michael V. Cusenza


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