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East Meadow man charged in rental scam

An East Meadow man was arrested Saturday and charged with grand larceny in a scam in which people seeking rental units lost deposits after responding to ads online, Nassau police said.

Jamel Smith, 38, of 191 Green Valley Rd., acted as a real-estate agent for properties in Elmont, Hempstead and West Hempstead between Jan. 31 and May 9, 2012, police said. After an investigation by Nassau and Hempstead police, authorities discovered Smith would place ads on Craigslist, then keep down payments for the properties after meeting the victims.

Police said Smith got more than $15,000 in at least eight incidents.

Smith was arrested at his home and charged with two counts of third-degree grand larceny, six counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, and first-degree fraud. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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