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Woman who stolen identities to get gang members high-end apartments cuffed on Upper West Side

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A woman faces federal charges for allegedly defrauding several people over the course of two years in an effort to house gang members in luxury apartments, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

On Oct. 5, Latoya Williams was arrested at her Upper West Side home and charged with identity theft.

According to the criminal complaint, as early as Oct. 5, 2020, Williams allegedly falsified documentation to secure high-end apartments in buildings around New York City. The documents included forged identification documents, pay stubs, tax documents, and other falsified paperwork to obtain property rentals and utility services.

The apartments would be leased in the names of the victims of stolen identity, and then they would be occupied by gang members who allegedly stored contraband inside. For example, members of the Wood City street gang possessed five guns in a Brooklyn apartment that was illegally obtained through Williams, which were recovered by police during an arrest. 

As a result, the victims whose identities were allegedly stolen by Williams would then become targets of debt collectors and lawsuits due to months of unpaid rent at these apartments.

Court documents say that Williams’ alleged involvement was found when investigating a murder in Queens. On Feb. 7, 2021, a known associate of the Makk Balla Brims street gang had been killed by gunfire. On that man’s phone, Williams’ number was one of his most recent communications, saved as “Toya Apartments.” 

A law enforcement source noted that several hundred thousand dollars were recovered from Williams’ apartment during her arrest. She will make her initial appearance in court on Oct. 5.

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