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Five years for posing as NYCHA agent

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On Wednesday, May 28, a former Morrisania resident was sentenced to 2 ½ to five years in prison for stealing nearly $14,000 from Bronx residents after illegally posing as a New York City Housing Authority agent.

Jacqueline Yorro, 38, posed as a NYCHA employee and charged prospective tenants more than $3,000 in return for a promise to help them obtain affordable, quality housing – fast.

“This lady, she’s really good. You’d never know she was a criminal,” said Christine Simpson, one of Yorro’s recent victims.

Simpson said she was looking for an apartment when she first heard of Yorro through the friend of a friend.

She added nothing out of the ordinary ever alerted her of the scam in action.

“I mean she had it all mapped out,” Simpson explained about Yorro’s professional manner and knowledge of NYCHA policy.

Over the course of a week, she said a personal diver escorted Yorro to each of the several apartments she showed.

A seemingly flawless presentation led Simpson to pay the con artist $3,925 in exchange of placement in one of the apartment’s she’d seen. Unfortunately, the deal fell flat.

Simpson, like many others whom Yorro scammed, never heard from her again.

“Just between me and my group of friends she got like $15,000,” Simpson said. “I learned a really big lesson.”

The Department of Investigation arrested Yorro in May of 2007 on charges of seven counts of grand larceny in the third degree, one count of grand larceny in the fourth degree and scheme to defraud in the first degree.

The investigation began after an individual filed a complaint with DOI’s NYCHA Office of the Inspector General in January 2007, saying Yorro was failing to complete her duties as a NYCHA employee.

According to the criminal complaint, between 2006 and 2007, Yorro defrauded eight people of more than $22,000 after posing as both a NYCHA employee and a real estate broker.

DOI commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said, “Stealing money from people by preying on their need for decent housing is a crime that, as this case shows, can lead to prison.”

In April, as part of a plea bargain, Yorro pled guilty to grand larceny in the third degree.

At the time of her 2007 arrest, Yorro was already on parole having been convicted in September 2004 of grand larceny in the third degree.

The arrest came after she posed as a hospital job recruiter and took approximately $14,000 in fees from 13 people, never providing the promised jobs; and victims never seeing it coming. 

Said Simpson: “I never thought anything like this would happen to me.”

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