John Garland, of Queens, was arrested for an incident that happened in Hicksville at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7, the Nassau County Police Department said.
Detectives found that Garland entered G & J Dry Cleaners 2 Incorporated, which is located at 212 West Old Country Road, and claimed to be a code enforcement inspector for the town of Oyster Bay, NCPD reported.
Police said Garland wore an orange vest and showed identification that included his photo and a town of Hempstead seal.
Garland told the business that its sign was in violation of town ordinance, and threatened fines that exceeded $5,000 if the issue was not addressed within 72 hours, according to the report.
He then issued fraudulent "Notice of Violation" paperwork that had seals of Nassau County, the town of Hempstead, and the town of Oyster Bay, police said.
The victim was given a phone number for FastSigns, a business located at 392 North Wantagh Ave., and the victim called FastSigns and was given a $2,200 estimate to fix the violation, NCPD said.
Investigators determined that Garland visited 114 businesses and claimed their signs were in violation, authorities said.
NCPD reported that Garland was charged with:
- First-degree scheme to defraud
- Second-degree attempted grand larceny
- Two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument
- Second-degree criminal impersonation
His arraignment was scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10, police said.
Detectives asked anyone who feels they may have been the victim of a similar incident to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
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