Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that an Elmont, Long Island, woman who allegedly claimed to operate a bail bonds business in Queens County has been charged with stealing over $470,000 from more than three dozen individuals whom she allegedly had duped into investing in her business over the last three years.
District Attorney Brown said, “The defendant is accused of taking sums of money – ranging from $1,200 to $95,000 – for her fictitious bail bonds business from dozens of people by guaranteeing them a return on their investments within a short period of time. When the defendant failed to make good on her alleged promises and was confronted by her victims, she allegedly threatened them with physical harm and negative immigration consequences – including having them arrested. In total, the defendant is accused of stealing nearly half a million dollars from her victims. The defendant’s alleged crimes are particularly egregious in that the victims were Spanish-speaking individuals who trusted the defendant because she was from Colombia and spoke Spanish.”
The District Attorney added, “If anyone may have been a victim – or knows someone who may have been a victim of this alleged scheme – please contact either the Queens District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau at 718-286-6673 or the District Attorney’s Office of Immigrant Affairs at 718-286-6690.”
State Senator José Peralta said, “I want to thank Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the Office of Immigrant Affairs and all those involved in the investigation that led to the arrest of Ms. Alexandra Muñoz Monroy. Many of my constituents fell prey to her scheme, so it is great to hear that this woman was brought to justice. Some of the victims came into my office, desperately, asking for help when they learned that they were ripped off. It was an honor to be able to cooperate with the authorities in this particular case.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Alexandra Muñoz Monroy, 42, of Elmont, New York. Monroy, who also allegedlyuses the names AlexandraMuñoz,Alexandra Monroy, Alexander Torres, Alexandra Arias, Alexa Muñoz, Alexa Arias and Sandra Torres, was arraigned this afternoon before Queens Criminal Court Judge Peter Vallone on a criminal complaint charging her with second-, third- and fourth degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, first-degree scheme to defraud and third-degree falsely reporting an incident. Monroy, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was ordered held on $350,000 bond/$150,000 cash bail with a bail sufficiencyhearing. Monroy, who has already surrendered her Colombian passport to prosecutors, was also ordered to surrender her United States passport. Her next court date is March 15, 2016.
District Attorney Brown said that, according to the criminal charges, Monroy presented herself as a bail bondsman and agent of Royalty & Alee, Inc., and collected “investments” totaling $470,135 for her (MORE) – 2 – bail bonds business from 37 individuals, guaranteeing them a return within several days to several weeks on their “investments.” It is alleged that when Monroy failed to repay her debts and was confronted by her victims, she threatened them with physical harm and negative immigration consequences, which included having them arrested. In one instance, it is charged that when a victim attempted to communicate with Monroy about the money she owed him, she never answered his telephone calls and only responded via text messages in which she provided excuses as to why she did not have the victim’s money. On March 17, 2014, Monroy filed a complaint with the New York City Police Department, falsely alleging that she had been subjected to aggravated harassment by the victim who she claimed had called her and threatened her, in sum and substance, by stating: pay me my money or I’m going to break your legs. The case against the victim was ultimately dismissed.
In a second instance, it is alleged that one of her victims had given $6,000 to her on October 28, 2014, for the expressed purpose of bailing a specific person out of jail. Between October 30, 2014, and November 3, 2014, the jailed individuals also allegedly had a family member and close family friends provide Monroy with $5,000 for the purpose of bailing himself out of jail. According to Department of Correction records, Monroy allegedly visited the individual at Rikers Island, however she never bailed him out of jail.
As part of the investigation, a review was conducted of the records of the New York State Department of Financial Services which, according to the charges, revealed that Monroy had never been licensed in any capacity under any section of the New York Insurance Law. In order to conduct business as a bail bondsman in New York State, a license is required from the Department of Financial Services.
Royalty & Alee, Inc., located on 92 Street in Flushing, Queens, primarily operates as a translation and service and lists an Alexa Munoz as president.
District AttorneyBrown thanked the television network Univision and the Office to New York State Senator José Peralta for referring the matter to his Office of Immigrant Affairs.
The Office of Immigrant Affairs, which assists members of Queens County’s various immigrant communities in navigating and accessing the criminal justice system, was established within the Queens District Attorney Special Prosecutions Division, which is supervised by Executive Assistant District Attorney Jesse J. Sligh, in January 2015. The Office of Immigrant Affairs Director is Assistant District Attorney Carmencita Gutierrez, a veteran prosecutor with the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s Financial Crimes Task Force. Also assisting on the investigation was Detective David Matos, who is assigned to District Attorney Brown’s Detective Bureau. Assistant District AttorneyBenjaminKramer-Eisenbud, of the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Carmencita Gutierrez, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gregory C. Pavlides, Bureau Chief, and Christina Hanophy and Kristen A. Kane, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney Linda M. Cantoni.
It should be noted that a complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. #