Howard hunts for real estate firm

THE BRONX — This one started off routine with another landlord who doesn’t want to return a security deposit, but there’s a lot more going on.

Diandra Sierra thought she and her baby’s father had a nice apartment on Laconia Avenue in the Bronx. She was smart.  She even asked the owners to show her the deed to prove they really owned the place.  And then she gave Platinum Properties – a Delaware Corporation - $1,950 as a deposit.  In return she got the keys.

“When I came to move in the keys that were given to me, the locks were changed to the apartment,” Sierra said.  “The landlord has been avoiding me.”

Ahh, yes.  The landlord.  Sierra says she dealt with three guys: Mitchell Evans, his brother Zach and his son Timothy Young. So we went looking for them at three addresses in New York.

The Queens address turned out to be a nail salon.  At the Madison Avenue address in Manhattan, the concierge at the front desk said he never heard of them.  And a downtown address apparently doesn’t exist at all.  None of that speaks well for honesty, but doesn’t surprise me when it comes to real estate characters.

To my surprise, I was able to get Timothy Young on the phone.  He told me they learned Sierra's “partner” had a criminal record and didn’t want him in their building.  It seems that could be a violation of federal law.  But we’re focused on getting Sierra's money back.  Even if her partner is an ex-con, that doesn’t give them the right to keep her security deposit.

Then Timothy Young hit me with another surprise.  He told me they’d already mailed out her check to a NYCHA office in the Bronx.  I told him to send me the receipt or a copy of the check.  Again, to my surprise, he did.

Then we checked with NYCHA.  They have no record of receiving any such item. Period. No surprise there.

And when I got Timothy Young back on the phone I told him that.  I also mentioned his Madison Avenue address is phony.  All he said was, “Ok.”

Then I asked him to bring a new check for Sierra to me.  He agreed.  He said he’d be at WPIX next Friday the 29th.  We’ll be waiting with Sierra.  Will Timothy Young show up?  We’ll see.