Advertisement

Range Rover-driving ‘squatter’ who took over $1M NYC home demands ransom payment to leave— and claims he’s the real victim

Range Rover-driving ‘squatter’ who took over $1M NYC home demands ransom payment to leave.
Range Rover-driving 'squatter' who took over $1M NYC home demands ransom payment to leave.

New York’s most notorious squatting story is taking a new twist: The “squatter” at the center of it says he’s the victim — and will get out once he is paid for “upgrades” to the house.

Range Rover-driving Brian Rodriguez told The Post he wants $18,000 to hand back the home in Flushing — and claimed all he was doing was trying to start a “side hustle” to cash in on the migrant crisis.

The bizarre saga began when Adele Andaloro was handcuffed by police after a fiery caught-on-camera standoff as she tried to throw out squatters from the $1 million, four-bedroom home in Flushing she inherited from her parents.

Brian Rodriguez says he was conned into signing a bogus lease for the Flushing home at the center of New York’s most notorious squatting case, then moved in “tenants.” Now he says he wants cash for “upgrades” before he will hand it back. Brian Zak/NY Post
Brian Rodriguez says he was conned into signing a bogus lease for the Flushing home at the center of New York’s most notorious squatting case, then moved in “tenants.” Now he says he wants cash for “upgrades” before he will hand it back. Brian Zak/NY Post

But then the squatters said they were legitimately subletting and paying rent to someone called “Jay” — Rodriguez’s nickname — and therefore were entitled to stay.

Now Rodriguez has told The Post he was scammed into “renting” the house with a fake lease by a bogus realtor, so he’s not a squatter either. And he had planned to fill the property with migrants, wrongly thinking the city would pay him $1,000 a month to take them.

Now he wants Andaloro to pay him $18,000 towards what he has spent on repairing the plumbing, doing electric work, re-painting and cleaning the house.

“I told her that I can’t just walk out; my money is there,” said Rodriguez, maintaining that will give up on the house immediately — if he gets paid. “I told her that she should let me figure it out or pay me my money. She was furious.”

Without the money, it will take “one or two months to move them out” and then “I will just give it back because it is the right thing to do.”

Adele Andaloro being handcuffed in the home she inherited from her parents. She came to change the locks and eject the people who were living there. Police handcuffed her for allegedly breaking New York state’s squatter-friendly laws. ABC7
Adele Andaloro being handcuffed in the home she inherited from her parents. She came to change the locks and eject the people who were living there. Police handcuffed her for allegedly breaking New York state’s squatter-friendly laws. ABC7
After the house was swatted, Brian Rodriguez said, investigators from the Queens DA’s office came onto the scene. Kevin Sheehan / NY Post
After the house was swatted, Brian Rodriguez said, investigators from the Queens DA’s office came onto the scene. Kevin Sheehan / NY Post

Andaloro did not return calls from The Post.

As to how he feels about all this, Rodriguez said, “I feel horrible for being conned. That money is everything I have. Of course I feel bad for Ms. Adele.”

Rodriguez’s troubles began, he claimed, last December, when he was in a Flushing laundromat.

Between wash cycles he encountered a well-dressed and confident man, in his early 40s, who called himself “Ronnie Ferg.”

A tenant from the house holds up the receipt he received from Brian Rodriguez who claims to be working on getting the tenants out so the home’s owner can take control of it. James Messerschmidt
A tenant from the house holds up the receipt he received from Brian Rodriguez who claims to be working on getting the tenants out so the home’s owner can take control of it. James Messerschmidt

“We started talking about construction in New York,” Rodriguez said. “I brought up a government program in which you can rent out rooms to immigrants for $1,000 per month.”

There is no scheme for the city to give private landlords $1,000 a month to house immigrants. The idea was floated in June last year by Mayor Eric Adams but never put into action.

But “Ferg,” claiming to be a real estate broker and property manager, said, “I have the perfect house for you.”

One of the illegal “tenants” at the Flushing home was caught on camera leaving it earlier this month. Brigitte Stelzer
One of the illegal “tenants” at the Flushing home was caught on camera leaving it earlier this month. Brigitte Stelzer

It was a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,646 square foot home. “Ronnie had the key,” Rodriguez said. “He showed me the place. The living room had some oldfurniture in it: a brown sofa, drapes, a small table.”

Rodriguez signed a lease, which he showed to The Post, for $3,200 a month. No public records exist for a New York realtor called “Ronnie Ferg.”

The immigrant deal — obviously — never came together.

“So I rented the rooms to local people who need places to sleep,” said Rodriguez. “They work for Uber and Instacart and can’t afford $2,000 a month for an apartment. Some pay $900; some pay $1,000.”

Once they began using the showers, water leaked into the living room and basement. “It was a mess,” said Rodriguez.

“But Ronnie told me to fix it myself because the owners are cheap. He said he would make sure I got a break on my rent and told me to not pay February.”

Moving in, cleaning and repairing, claimed Rodriguez, “cost me 24 or 25 grand.” He detailed the bill as $9,600 given to the realtor; $9,700 on new water pipes; and a total of $4,000 on electrical work, cleaning and painting. “That’s all my money. I rushed into this. Ronnie conned me.”

By February, he had the place loaded up with four subletters.

Rodriguez lived in his own apartment and for a few weeks things went smoothly.

A page from the lease that Brian Rodriguez told The Post he signed with Ronnie Ferg, a man who, he says, claimed to be a legitimate real estate broker. Brian Zak/NY Post
A page from the lease that Brian Rodriguez told The Post he signed with Ronnie Ferg, a man who, he says, claimed to be a legitimate real estate broker. Brian Zak/NY Post

Then, in late February, his tenants were surprised by a woman who said she owned the home and wanted everyone out.

“I called Ronnie Ferg,” said Rodriguez. “He told me that she is probably a former tenant who wants to get back in the house. He told me to call the police.”

In fact, she was Andaloro, who is the legitimate owner and who was shocked to see people living in the place that she had inherited from her parents.

Accused of being a squatter, Brian Rodriguez drives a spiffy Range Rover and wears Louis Vuitton sunglasses. Brian Zak/NY Post
Accused of being a squatter, Brian Rodriguez drives a spiffy Range Rover and wears Louis Vuitton sunglasses. Brian Zak/NY Post

A few days later, Andaloro showed up with a locksmith and an ABC-7 TV news crew, leading to the viral confrontation with Rodriguez’s “tenants” which ended in her being cuffed.

Rodriguez raced over and again phoned “Ferg” for help.

“Ronnie said, ‘I told you what to do’ and he hung up; then his number went dead; I never spoke with him again,” Rodriguez recalled.

“Ms. Adele called the cops. I tried to stop them from [handcuffing] her. Ms. Adele could attest to this.”

Soon after Andalaro’s handcuffing, a man at the house showed The Post two tattered rent receipts that totaled $3,500.

Rodriguez said he would keep the rent and use it towards the $25,000 he had spent.

Brian Rodriguez told The Post that he rented this house from a broker he thought was legitimate. He claims that his original intention was to rent out rooms to immigrants. Brian Zak/NY Post
Brian Rodriguez told The Post that he rented this house from a broker he thought was legitimate. He claims that his original intention was to rent out rooms to immigrants. Brian Zak/NY Post

Another subletter, Kevin Ballasty, acknowledged last week that he was scammed into paying $1,500 to “Jay,” with a supposed realtor named David Dubon getting a $1,000 fee. Contacted by The Post, Dubon said, “No comment.” There are no licensed brokers of that name, public records show.

Rodriguez said, “Jay is my nickname. I’ve had it for 20 years. It’s from Jason Statham from the ‘Transporter’ movies.”

Meanwhile, according to Rodriguez things are at a stalemate between him, Andaloro, Ronnie Ferg and the renters. “Ferg” is nowhere to be found. Rodriguez is not paying rent and neither are the tenants.

Brian Rodriguez with his dog Larry, outside of the home where he has been accused of being a squatter. He insists that he is not a squatter. Brian Zak/NY Post
Brian Rodriguez with his dog Larry, outside of the home where he has been accused of being a squatter. He insists that he is not a squatter. Brian Zak/NY Post

Asked if he feels like an idiot, Rodriguez responded, “Right.”

Worse, “Last week the house got swatted.”

Describing the high-risk prank in which law enforcement is called under the false claim that something dangerous is happening in a home, he explained, “Police were told that there are dead bodies there.

“The house was surrounded by police. The DA was there. Then they searched the place with dogs. There were no bodies.”

Petting a purse-sized Pomerian that he just bought for $1,000 and named Larry, Rodriguez half-joked, “I had to get this guy for protection.”

“Now I got to pay for them to leave,” said Rodriguez. “I need a month or two to get them out. I am ready to give the house back to Ms. Adele. I’ll take the L on this one. The house really beat me up.”