QUEENS, N.Y. (WABC) — An apartment rental scam left residents out of tens of thousands of dollars, and on Thursday the victims finally had their day in court.

This is the story that 7 On Your Side was investigation for more than ten years. A Queens man posed as a landlord, extorting tens of thousands of dollars from tenants who eventually learned the apartment listing didn’t even exist.

After so many years, the victims of the theft finally got some good news.

Five years have passed since then Last time 7 On Your Side came face to face with Shahab Roy Khan.

Back in 2018, Nina Pineda convinced him to return $3,000 in cash to Barbara Baez, a pregnant mother who had paid to move into an apartment in Khan’s mother’s house that could not be rented. A few days later, he was arrested for defrauding dozens of others in rent.

The Queens district attorney said Hahn pleaded guilty to stealing from dozens of would-be renters. He was recently rearrested on domestic assault charges and now faces a harsher sentence, but not before his victims got their day in court to tell how he destroyed their lives and took their hard-earned money.

“Waiting until all your things are packed and you have nowhere to go, and again, that was the least we could do,” said Queens Assistant District Attorney Matthew I.

The Queens District Attorney’s Office issued restitution checks totaling more than $40,000.

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“I’m glad to give them their money back, but really this is about a person who continues to take advantage of people who sometimes can’t fight for themselves, that’s what I’m for,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Two women were forced to live in a homeless shelter after Khan stole their $2,400 deposit on an apartment.

Han posted ads on Craigslist and pretended to rent the same room in his mother’s house over and over again when we moved there five years ago. No one managed to settle down.

“He conned a lot of people and took a lot of money,” said victim Steven Soto.

“I’m glad to see him behind bars,” said victim Redim Rajeev.

Khan’s lawyer said his client worked hard as a truck driver to pay his victims $40,000.

“It’s certainly not behavior that I would recommend to anyone,” Khan’s defense attorney, Michael Horne, said when asked what he thought of his client, who continued to commit the same crimes against victims.

But Horne said Khan is remorseful.

Because Khan was rearrested on the assault charge, which was a probation violation, he now faces seven to 15 years behind bars. His sentence will be announced on February 14.

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