May 28, 2024

Attorney General James Announces Arrests in New York City Deed Theft Ring

Attorney General James Announces Arrests in New York City Deed Theft Ring

5 People today Stole Properties Owned by Aged and Susceptible People in Southeast Queens

NEW YORK – New York Lawyer Common Letitia James right now introduced the indictment of 5 associates of a deed theft ring for allegedly stealing three properties truly worth additional than $1 million in overall from elderly, vulnerable home owners in the Queens neighborhoods of Jamaica and St. Albans. The defendants impersonated the true house owners of these properties by making use of forged driver’s licenses and social protection playing cards. They then applied that cast information and facts at deal signings and closings on the houses and forged the actual owners’ signatures on deeds and genuine estate contracts.

“No just one should face the nightmare of getting their house stolen from them without having any warning, awareness, or rationale,” stated Attorney General James. “Deed theft is a cruel crime that targets seniors, and normally people of color, who are asset loaded but dollars lousy, and reliant on their homes as a stabilizing drive for their family members and beloved kinds. My office will continue on our do the job to overcome deed theft right until we can make sure no other New Yorker is compelled to endure this heartbreaking, everyday living-altering decline.”

“I thank Lawyer Typical Letitia James as well as our company and legislation enforcement associates for their diligent endeavours on behalf of New Yorkers,” said Queens District Legal professional Melinda Katz. “Deed fraud is an more and more pervasive criminal offense that robs home owners of their one most valuable asset. Nevertheless it is a increasing problem all over Queens County, individuals who decide on to victimize other folks for their own economical obtain will be held to account in this borough.”

“Deed Fraud proceeds to be a precedence of our workplace that victimizes the most vulnerable homeowners of New York City,” reported New York Metropolis Sheriff Anthony Miranda. “Perpetrators prey upon the elderly, the fiscally deprived, and the medically infirmed by means of deception and a wide range of nefarious techniques. The Sheriff’s Bureau of Legal Investigation will go on to coordinate our work to safeguard homeowners and look into these horrific thefts together with all of our law enforcement partners in the town. We commend the actions of the New York Lawyer General’s Office environment Real Estate Enforcement Unit for their investigation which resulted in today’s arrests and thank them for their continued initiatives in this spot.”

The five persons indicted are:

  • Marcus Wilcher, 47
  • Stacie Saunders, 51
  • Anyekache Hercules, 47
  • Jerry Currin, 66
  • Dean Lloyd, 61

Commencing in September 2019, Wilcher found residences in Jamaica and St. Albans, Queens in lousy or operate-down affliction with absentee homeowners. Saunders then promoted the households to buyers at costs considerably underneath marketplace price for fast product sales. Immediately after an investor expressed desire in getting a property, Wilcher would protected private information about the genuine owners, together with social security figures and birth dates, to develop falsified drivers’ licenses, social security playing cards, and bank playing cards. Wilcher and Saunders then found people today to impersonate the accurate entrepreneurs of the houses at deal signings and closings.

Hercules made sure solid legal files employed in the theft of the properties. As she was disbarred and could not exercise regulation in New York, Hercules fraudulently used a practicing attorney’s e mail and identify on legal correspondence. Lloyd or one of three other persons that have nevertheless to be apprehended would show up at the closings with cast deeds and contracts. Currin appeared at the closing on his family members dwelling with an unique who pretended to be his sister, the executor of the spouse and children estate. This individual has not but been apprehended. Currin also submitted a untrue affidavit in assistance of a next estate sale for a different stolen property, written as a long-time loved ones mate.

After the income ended up finalized, the defendants opened bank accounts in the names of the homes’ authentic entrepreneurs applying the impostor sellers’ solid drivers’ licenses and social security playing cards. He and his co-conspirators then used these lender accounts and other entities and LLCs they managed to funnel far more than $1 million in proceeds to themselves.

The stolen houses are:

  • 161-14 121 Avenue, Queens, New York
  • 112-39 176 Avenue, Queens, New York
  • 168-11 119 Avenue, Queens, New York

Saunders, Hercules, and Currin were arraigned yesterday before Supreme Court Decide Evelyn Braun in Queens County. Lloyd was arrested in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and is pending extradition to New York. The defendants, as detailed in the indictment, have been billed with the pursuing crimes: Funds Laundering in the Next Diploma, a class C felony Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree, a class C felony Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Diploma, a course D felony Conspiracy in the Fourth Diploma, a course E felony Plan to Defraud in the Very first Diploma, a course E felony Observe of Legislation by an Legal professional Who Has Been Disbarred, Suspended or Convicted of a Felony, a course E felony Giving a Wrong Instrument for Filing in the Very first Degree, a course E felony Forgery in the Second Degree, a class E felony Legal Possession of a Cast Instrument in the Next Diploma, a course E felony and Felony Impersonation in the Second Degree, a course A misdemeanor. The optimum sentence on the major rely is 15 a long time.

The fees are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed harmless unless and until eventually confirmed responsible in a courtroom of legislation.

While four associates of the deed theft ring have been apprehended, one more 4 stay at huge: Wilcher and three individuals that have nonetheless to be determined. The Business office of the Lawyer Typical (OAG) is now looking for the public’s aid in bringing them to justice.

Deed Theft The higher than a few people today impersonated property owners and have still to be uncovered.
Illustrations or photos have been taken from falsified identification cards.

The OAG encourages any one common with one or a lot more of the co-conspirators at-huge to speak to OAG’s General public Integrity Bureau confidentially by calling (212) 416-8090 or emailing [email protected].

The OAG many thanks the New York Office of Point out for the felony referral and its help with this investigation and prosecution. The OAG also thanks the New York City Office of Finance for its assistance. The OAG also thanks the Yeadon Pennsylvania Law enforcement Department, the Ga Bureau of Investigation, the Place of work of the Inspector General of the Social Safety Administration, and the New York Town Police Section. 

“Deed theft has been a widespread problem in South East Queens for decades. It is an egregious act to impersonate and steal someone’s livelihood and has been an concern that has caused an extraordinary quantity of stress and insecurity for citizens,” said New York Metropolis Council Member Nantasha Williams. “I want to thank Attorney Normal Letitia James for her work in investigating and apprehending this deed theft ring and glimpse ahead to our ongoing partnership in combating this concern.”

“Deed theft is a surprising and hugely profitable criminal scheme that preys on some of New York’s most vulnerable communities,” said K. Scott Kohanowski, Director of Home owner Steadiness Task, Metropolis Bar Justice Middle. “It can have a devastating effect on New Yorkers resulting in the reduction of hundreds of 1000’s and even tens of millions of dollars, frequently of inter-generational spouse and children prosperity in a way that worsens the racial wealth hole. We applaud the Lawyer General’s initiatives to keep perpetrators of these crimes accountable and put their like-minded copycats on observe.”

The scenario was investigated by Detective Steven Pratt underneath the route of Supervising Detective Anna Ospanova and Assistant Chief Samuel Scotellaro, all under the supervision of Performing Chief Edward Carrasco. The Investigations Bureau is led by Main Oliver Pu-Folkes. The audit perform was undertaken by Senior Auditor Investigator Danielle Dudley under the supervision of Deputy Chief Auditor Sandy Bizzarro. The audit team is led by Chief Auditor Kristen Fabbri.

Assistant Attorneys Typical Nicholas Kyriacou and Aida Vernon are dealing with the prosecution in this make a difference under the supervision of the Public Integrity Bureau Main Gerard Murphy and Deputy Chief Kiran Heer, with assistance from Lawful Help Analyst Grace Koh and Authorized Assistant Glenis Biscette. Both equally the Investigations Bureau and the Public Integrity Bureau are component of the Division for Prison Justice. The Division for Felony Justice is led by Chief Deputy Legal professional Standard José Maldonado and overseen by Very first Deputy Legal professional Common Jennifer Levy.