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NYC cracks down on phony parking placards

A printed booklet on the dashboard of a

A printed booklet on the dashboard of a car prominently features an NYPD shield and reads "civilian handbook." Such tokens are often placed on the dashboards of illegally parked cars in lieu of a proper parking placard in hopes of avoiding a ticket. Photo Credit: Newsday/Matthew Chayes

Maxhun Hykosmani, a 53-year-old Bronx resident, stands accused of attempting to get out of a 2018 ticket for failing to display a parking meter receipt in Manhattan by submitting a fraudulent City Law Department parking placard. While his plea was denied and he paid the summons, he's being charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as part of a larger crackdown on such forgery.    

He is one of eight people who have been arrested for trying to use fake parking placards to dispute tickets with the New York City Department of Finance, according to the New York City Department of Investigation. All eight defendants have pleaded not guilty, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. The probe into the practice stemmed from a referral by the city's Department of Transportation, according to a news release.     

“Parking comes at a premium in a city like New York and using fraudulent placards to circumvent the rules is a crime,” DOI Commissioner Margaret Garnett said in a statement. “These individuals abused City parking regulations and attempted to escape paying the penalties by posing as City employees with City-issued placards or by using fake handicap parking placards reserved for those in real need, according to the charges.”

The defendants, most of whom are city residents, are all charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree — a class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison. Some, like Hykosmani, also face an impersonation charge.

Ramon Arias, a 57-year-old from East Elmhurst, is one of them.

Arias also got nabbed for failure to display a parking meter receipt in Manhattan in 2018. He allegedly submitted a forged New York Blood Center placard to get out of it, but his plea was denied.

Adrian Ramprasad, a 27-year-old from South Richmond Hill, is accused of twice — unsuccessfully — presenting a fraudulent City Law Department placard before his plea was denied and he paid his summonses.

Jennifer Rosario, a 36-year-old Manhattanite, allegedly made a failed attempt to get a ticket thrown out by using a false placard assigned to the United States Postal Office.

Elliot Obeng-Dompreh, a 33-year-old New Jersey resident, Ying J. Lin, a 47-year-old from Fresh Meadows, Arsen Iskhakov, a 47-year-old from Forest Hills, and Candida Roman, a 47-year-old Manhattanite, are all accused of trying to use fraudulent handicap placards to get out of tickets issued from 2017 to 2018.

“My client vehemently denies the charges as levied against her and we’re hoping to work something out with the prosecution,” said George Grasso, attorney for Roman.

Glenn Hardy, attorney for Arias, said his client's plea of "not guilty" are the "two most important words," adding that "we're going to investigate the matter and determine what the facts are because they are not often as they seem."

Attorneys for the rest of the defendants could not be immediately reached or declined to comment. 

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