10/4/09

Real Estate Hustler Tries to Sell Property to New York Road Runners

"It is better, I think, to begin easily and get your running to be smooth and relaxed and then to go faster and faster." HENRY RONO

DA: Real Estate Hustler Tries to Sell Property to New York Road Runners

NEW YORK (AP) -- Prosecutors say a Harlem real estate hustler tried to sell a prime property he didn't own to the group that oversees the New York City Marathon.

It cost the organization $300,000 in fees before the deal unraveled.

Henry Vargas, 35, is to be arraigned Wednesday on charges including grand larceny. A message left at his Queens home wasn't immediately returned. It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

Prosecutors say Vargas forged documents showing he had a 60-percent stake in a commercial building near Central Park.

They say he pocketed $1 million from a developer for an option to buy the supposed 60-percent share, and then agreed to sell the property to New York Road Runners for $8.5 million. The group didn't immediately return a call.

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