MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the arrest today of an East Meadow man who allegedly stole more than $34,000 from his landlord by filing forged military orders to qualify for reduced rent.
Eric Smith, 37, was arraigned today before District Court Judge Elizabeth Fox-McDonough and charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony), three counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a D felony) and three counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (an E felony). The defendant was released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on May 21. If convicted of the top charge, he faces a maximum of 2-1/3 to seven years in prison.
“The defendant, a sworn member of the NYPD, is accused of drafting fake military orders and using those orders to dupe his landlord into giving him reduced rent,” DA Singas said. “This benefit exists to help armed services members while they are deployed in defense of our county, but this defendant allegedly filed multiple fake orders and stole more than $34,000 in the process.”
DA Singas said that Eric Smith, a New York City Police Department officer in the 41st Precinct, is a former member of the New York Army Air National Guard. From 2011 to 2014, the defendant was on full time assignment to the Joint Task Force Empire Shield and was eligible to receive a reduced rent due to his deployment. Beginning in 2015 and through 2017, Smith allegedly filed forged military orders with his landlord to continue qualifying for reduced rent at the Mitchel Homes in East Meadow. Based on the investigation, the defendant is charged with stealing approximately $34,014.00 from his landlord, Balfour Beatty LLC, which operates the Mitchel Homes.
The defendant surrendered this morning to NCDA detective investigators.
The arrest is the result of a joint investigation by the NCDA and NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.
Senior Investigative Attorney Victoria Curran of DA Singas’ Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by John Tynan, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.