A Nassau man who lived at five tony addresses without paying rent pleaded guilty Tuesday to bilking the landlords and a Florida creditor of almost $161,000, the Nassau district attorney's office said.
Jerry Hauser, 57, is expected to get 1 to 3 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 30 on six counts of third-degree grand larceny and one count of fourth-degree grand larceny, prosecutors said. He is also expected to be ordered to pay back $160,640, which includes the rent in excess of $3,000 a month on homes in Old Westbury, Muttontown, Kings Point, Jericho and Syosset, authorities said.
"He accepted responsibility and is looking forward to resuming his life after serving his sentence," said his attorney, Samuel Rieff of Garden City.
In a three-year scam that started in 2010, Hauser would sign a lease and convince the landlord to let him move in before his deposit check cleared, prosecutors said.
His check would ultimately bounce, but he'd live in the home rent-free, refusing to pay monthly rent as he waited to be evicted, a legal process that took up to a year, authorities said.
He also cheated one of the five landlords in a deal to sell the landlord's car, authorities said. When it sold, he failed to give the money to the landlord, prosecutors said.
In another deal, he collected a debt owed by a local car dealership to a Florida resident, but again failed to transfer the money, prosecutors said.
"Our society only functions when people live up to their agreements, including paying money that they owe," District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. "This defendant betrayed those agreements on multiple occasions, costing his victims thousands of dollars in rent that they would have otherwise collected and funds that they had every right to expect would be paid."
Hauser was arrested on June 22, 2012, by the Old Westbury Police Department for the theft of rent from an Old Westbury landlord and for failing to give the landlord money for the vehicle sold, prosecutors said.
Then on Dec. 16, 2013, Nassau police arrested him for theft of rent from the other landlords and the Florida man, authorities said.
Since Sept. 4, Hauser has been in state prison in Ulster County after being convicted of grand larceny in a Manhattan case, according to state records.