Con man allegedly used false identity to turn ritzy hotel room into drug den

An alleged con man twice stole the identities of guests at luxury Times Square hotels — then used one person’s name to check in and turn a swanky room into a drug den, prosecutors say.

David Price, 36, allegedly called the Knickerbocker Hotel Sept. 5, 2017, posing as the just-departed guest, and made up an excuse for why he had to remain in town, tacking on one week to the closed-out reservation.

The suspected fraudster also asked to be switched to a pricier suite, according to the complaint.

The extravagant stay at the historic Beaux-Arts hotel built by John Jacob Astor IV cost $19,239.68.

A week later, cops caught up to Price and he was indicted on grand larceny, identity theft and forgery raps in Manhattan Supreme Court. He was sprung on $15,000 bond.

While out on a bail, Price allegedly tried the same scam Feb. 24 at the Sofitel but got caught two days into the unauthorized stay when the departed guest alerted the hotel.

Prosecutors say that Price rang up Sofitel reservations, asked to extend four nights and requested 
“an upgrade to a more expensive room,” court papers allege.

The tab for the one-bedroom suite had hit upwards of $3,000 when the checked-out guest noticed the startling charges, according to police and court papers.

Cops tried to access the room with a master key card at 10 a.m. on Feb. 26 but the door was chain-locked from the inside, the complaint states.

“I heard a loud commotion as well as a toilet being flushed multiple times in under one minute,” cops stated in court papers.

After Price opened the door, police officers arrested him and two pals, Mihail Vastardis and Dominique LeBoeuf.

Despite the toilet flushing, cops allegedly found meth, MDMA, ecstasy, Xanax, Klonopin, meth pipes, pill crushers and scales stashed throughout the room.

Authorities also recovered four phony state IDs with Price’s picture.

He was held without bail March 5 on new charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Additional reporting by Ben Feuerherd

Source: Read Full Article