Tag Archives: Sandy scam

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST

Friday: Mostly cloudy in the morning, then overcast. High of 84. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 15 mph. Friday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 66. Winds from the NE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: In the Mood for Love

The Museum of the Moving Image presents In the Mood for Love as part of a retrospective on Wong Kar-wai, the influential Hong Kong Second Wave filmmaker. This movie chronicles the intense friendship and sublimated desires between two mutually cuckolded neighbors in a tale of passion tragically thwarted. Starts at 7 p.m. Tickets for Friday evening screenings include admission to the Museum’s galleries, which are open until 8:00 p.m. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Cops looking for suspect who struck officer in Astoria  

A police officer on patrol in Astoria Thursday night was injured when a vehicle suspected in a robbery struck him as it tried to speed away, according to published reports. Read more: The Queens Courier

Police say attack on interracial couple in LIC not a hate crime

Cops say the attack on an interracial couple in Long Island City this past weekend was not a hate crime. Read more: The Queens Courier

Sandy victims say they’re being scammed by contractors

Some Breezy Point residents whose homes were damaged by water and fire during superstorm Sandy say they’re being scammed by the people they hired to help them rebuild. Read more: CBS New York 

Eliot Spitzer, Scott Stringer argue over credibility in comptroller debate

Manhattan Borough President ScottStringer tried to convince voters that he is the most credible choice for city comptroller, while former Gov. Eliot Spitzer touted his resume in the capital markets during a Democratic debate that grew tense at times Thursday night. Read more: CBS New York

Nasdaq trading halted for 3 hours

A mysterious glitch halted trading on the Nasdaq for three hours Thursday in the latest major electronic breakdown on Wall Street, embarrassing the stock exchange that hosts the biggest names in technology, including Apple, Microsoft and Google. Read more: AP

Bradley Manning becomes Chelsea Manning

By asking to be known as a woman named Chelsea, Bradley Manning has created a host of possible challenges for the military as the soldier began serving a 35-year prison sentence for giving secrets to WikiLeaks. Read more: AP

Fresh Meadows woman arrested for Sandy scam


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office

A Fresh Meadows woman claiming to be a Sandy victim was arrested for allegedly scamming more than $87,000 in city and federal relief, the state attorney general said.

Caterina Curatolo stayed at hotels on the city’s dime for close to nine months after she claimed she was evacuated and rendered homeless by the October superstorm, according to authorities and a criminal complaint.

She racked up a hotel bill of more than $83,000, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, and received nearly $3,600 on top of that from the city and American Red Cross to spend on food.

The attorney general’s office said she spent some of the money at electronic, shoe and dress stores.

“I am in desperate need for you all to pray for me and for all the victims of hurricane super sandy [sic], and please pray pray pray for me and us all,” Curatolo wrote on her Facebook page in June.

Schneiderman said Curatolo filed fraudulent claims, blaming Sandy for pre-dated or nonexistent damages to her house and car.

An investigation by his office found roof damages to her home were there since 2011, when she filed a similar claim to FEMA after Hurricane Irene.

Neighbors told The Courier they believed structural damage to her home took place long before the superstorm.

Curatolo’s car also showed no signs of water damage, Schneiderman said, though she allegedly told a car insurance representative her Jeep Grand Cherokee “was full of water,” according to a criminal complaint.

“The whole ceiling and everything was all wet and coming down well,” she allegedly said, “and the car is moldy and mildew-y [sic] now and the car won’t start.”

Neighbors said 159th Street, where Curatolo lives, saw little to no flooding during Sandy.

“There were some branches down. There was rain, but cars were not flooded,” said Abderraham Kamal.

Curatolo’s home is more than a mile from the nearest flood zone and was not located in an evacuation area, officials said.

Neighbor and friend Claudia, who did not want to give her last name, said Curatolo was battling health and family problems.

The 48 year old — who described herself on a social media sites as a reverend, actor, director and producer — also spent years taking care of her ailing mother, the neighbor said.

“I feel very bad for her,” Claudia said. “She needed help, but I guess she took it from the wrong place.”

Curatolo faces multiple charges including grand larceny, insurance fraud and falsifying business records and could serve up to seven years in prison if convicted.

“My office will do everything in our power to crack down on anyone who uses a national emergency like Sandy for personal gain,” Schneiderman said. “Today’s arrest shows that scammers who trade on tragedy will be exposed and punished.”

 

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