A woman accused of aiding New York City-area gang members secure access to high-end apartments by using stolen identities was arrested this week, federal prosecutors announced.
Investigators allege Latoya Williams forged housing paperwork, including pay stubs and tax documents, and left her victims with various rent and utility bills. Lawsuits and debt collections now face many of the woman’s victims, they say.
Officers arrested Williams on Wednesday at the luxury Upper West Side apartment building where she has been living, sources said. She first came onto the radar during an FBI investigation into violent gang operating in the city, a criminal complaint against Williams details.
A phone number in use by Williams was linked to a man — an associate of the Makk Balla Brims gang — shot and killed in Queens in Feb. 2021, the complaint says. Six months later, prosecutors say investigators searching a Yonkers apartment with ties to the Wood City gang learned the residence was leased by a woman with the same phone number.
A search of the Yonkers apartment recovered a summons for nonpayment of rent addressed to someone officials would later identity as Williams’s first victim. “Numerous additional” leases were made under the victim’s name, according to the complaint.
A second victim was uncovered in the investigation with leases made in their name throughout Brooklyn. In one Brooklyn apartment, a source said five guns linked to the Wood City gang were recovered during a police arrest.
The primary purpose of the apartment scheme was to provide gangs with the space for them to store contraband, investigators claim. In the complaint, investigators also discovered that payments for several apartments were made with unemployment benefit cards issued by New York, another facet of the woman’s scheme using stolen identities, prosecutors say.
Cash totally several hundred thousand dollars was recovered by investigators at Williams’s apartment Wednesday, a source told News 4.
Attorney information for Williams was not immediately available.