Broward County

While collecting an elderly tenant’s rent, cops say he collected $4,000 for himself

Apartment manager Derek Ragoonath is accused of ripping off an 84-year-old tenant.
Apartment manager Derek Ragoonath is accused of ripping off an 84-year-old tenant.

The manager of a Dania Beach apartment complex got booked into Broward County Main Jail Tuesday on charges he stole $4,000 over four months from an 84-year-old tenant.

That octagenarian resident of Hollywood Park Apartments North, Broward Sheriff’s Office said, trusted Miramar’s Derek Ragoonath enough to give him a blank check for March’s rent.

What Ragoonath did with that blank check, BSO claims, started him down the road that ran him into 12 charges — four counts each of grand theft, passing a forged or altered bill or promissory note and exploitation of an elderly citizen. His bond was set at $8,000.

Ragoonath’s only previous criminal conviction was for driving under the influence, the one charge that stuck from a 2014 accident in which Ragoonath struck a pedestrian.

Ragoonath, 53, has worked in property management since the 1990s. He’s been around Hollywood Park Apartments North long enough, BSO says, that the elderly resident handed him a blank check for March’s $1,125 rent and told Ragoonath to fill in the amount.

BSO says he filled in “$2,000” and pocketed the $875 excess. Then, did the same in May, increased his take to $1,125 in June and July.

Hollywood Park Apartments North, South, East, West each are owned by Abraham Rimon through corporations for which he is the only registered agent. Rimon bought Hollywood Park Apartments North fo $850,000 in 1998.

The man who answered a cell phone number registered to Rimon told a Herald reporter, “You’ll have to call back later,” before hanging up. Neither a later call nor text message were answered.

BSO believes Ragoonath might’ve ripped off other tenants, too. Anyone who knows another victim can contact BSO Det. German Bickbau at 954-926-2400, Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online via the website.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal