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Legal professional Basic James Proclaims Arrests in New York Metropolis Deed Theft Ring

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

NEW YORK – New York Legal professional Basic Letitia James in the present day introduced the indictment of 5 members of a deed theft ring for allegedly stealing three properties value greater than $1 million in whole from aged, susceptible owners within the Queens neighborhoods of Jamaica and St. Albans. The defendants impersonated the actual owners of those properties through the use of cast driver’s licenses and social safety playing cards. They then used that cast data at contract signings and closings on the properties and cast the actual house owners’ signatures on deeds and actual property contracts.

“Nobody ought to face the nightmare of getting their house stolen from them with none warning, information, or purpose,” mentioned Legal professional Basic James. “Deed theft is a cruel crime that targets seniors, and sometimes individuals of shade, who’re asset wealthy however money poor, and reliant on their properties as a stabilizing power for his or her households and family members. My workplace will proceed our work to fight deed theft till we will guarantee no different New Yorker is pressured to endure this heartbreaking, life-altering loss.”

“I thank Legal professional Basic Letitia James in addition to our company and regulation enforcement companions for his or her diligent efforts on behalf of New Yorkers,” mentioned Queens District Legal professional Melinda Katz. “Deed fraud is an more and more pervasive crime that robs owners of their single most useful asset. Although it’s a rising problem all through Queens County, those that select to victimize others for their very own monetary acquire shall be held to account on this borough.”

“Deed Fraud continues to be a precedence of our workplace that victimizes probably the most susceptible owners of New York Metropolis,” mentioned New York Metropolis Sheriff Anthony Miranda. “Perpetrators prey upon the aged, the financially deprived, and the medically infirmed via deception and quite a lot of nefarious schemes. The Sheriff’s Bureau of Felony Investigation will proceed to coordinate our effort to guard owners and examine these horrific thefts together with all of our regulation enforcement companions within the metropolis. We commend the actions of the New York Legal professional Basic’s Workplace Actual Property Enforcement Unit for his or her investigation which resulted in in the present day’s arrests and thank them for his or her continued efforts on this space.”

The 5 people indicted are:

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

Starting in September 2019, Wilcher situated properties in Jamaica and St. Albans, Queens in poor or run-down situation with absentee house owners. Saunders then marketed the properties to traders at costs considerably under market fee for fast gross sales. After an investor expressed curiosity in buying a house, Wilcher would safe private details about the actual house owners, together with social safety numbers and beginning dates, to create falsified drivers’ licenses, social safety playing cards, and financial institution playing cards. Wilcher and Saunders then discovered individuals to impersonate the true house owners of the properties at contract signings and closings.

Hercules created sure cast authorized paperwork used within the theft of the properties. As she was disbarred and couldn’t apply regulation in New York, Hercules fraudulently used a training legal professional’s e mail and title on authorized correspondence. Lloyd or one in every of three different people which have but to be apprehended would seem on the closings with cast deeds and contracts. Currin appeared on the closing on his household house with a person who pretended to be his sister, the executor of the household property. This particular person has not but been apprehended. Currin additionally submitted a false affidavit in assist of a second property sale for a special stolen property, written as a long-time household buddy.

After the gross sales had been finalized, the defendants opened financial institution accounts within the names of the properties’ actual house owners utilizing the impostor sellers’ cast drivers’ licenses and social safety playing cards. He and his co-conspirators then used these financial institution accounts and different entities and LLCs they managed to funnel greater than $1 million in proceeds to themselves.

The stolen properties 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 had been arraigned yesterday earlier than Supreme Courtroom Decide Evelyn Braun in Queens County. Lloyd was arrested in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and is pending extradition to New York. The defendants, as detailed within the indictment, have been charged with the next crimes: Cash Laundering within the Second Diploma, a category C felony; Grand Larceny within the Second Diploma, a category C felony; Tried Grand Larceny within the Second Diploma, a category D felony; Conspiracy within the Fourth Diploma, a category E felony; Scheme to Defraud within the First Diploma, a category E felony; Apply of Regulation by an Legal professional Who Has Been Disbarred, Suspended or Convicted of a Felony, a category E felony; Providing a False Instrument for Submitting within the First Diploma, a category E felony; Forgery within the Second Diploma, a category E felony; Felony Possession of a Cast Instrument within the Second Diploma, a category E felony; and Felony Impersonation within the Second Diploma, a category A misdemeanor. The utmost sentence on the highest depend is 15 years.

The costs are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed harmless until and till confirmed responsible in a courtroom of regulation.

Whereas 4 members of the deed theft ring have been apprehended, one other 4 stay at massive: Wilcher and three people which have but to be recognized. The Workplace of the Legal professional Basic (OAG) is now looking for the general public’s assist in bringing them to justice.

Legal professional Basic James Proclaims Arrests in New York Metropolis Deed Theft RingThe above three people impersonated owners and have but to be discovered.
Pictures have been taken from falsified identification playing cards.

The OAG encourages anybody acquainted with a number of of the co-conspirators at-large to contact OAG’s Public Integrity Bureau confidentially by calling (212) 416-8090 or emailing [email protected].

The OAG thanks the New York Division of State for the prison referral and its help with this investigation and prosecution. The OAG additionally thanks the New York Metropolis Division of Finance for its assist. The OAG additionally thanks the Yeadon Pennsylvania Police Division, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Workplace of the Inspector Basic of the Social Safety Administration, and the New York Metropolis Police Division. 

“Deed theft has been a prevalent concern in South East Queens for years. It’s an egregious act to impersonate and steal somebody’s livelihood and has been a problem that has triggered an unimaginable quantity of stress and insecurity for residents,” mentioned New York Metropolis Council Member Nantasha Williams. “I need to thank Legal professional Basic Letitia James for her work in investigating and apprehending this deed theft ring and sit up for our continued partnership in combating this concern.”

“Deed theft is a surprising and extremely profitable prison scheme that preys on a few of New York’s most susceptible communities,” mentioned Okay. Scott Kohanowski, Director of House owner Stability Mission, Metropolis Bar Justice Middle. “It might probably have a devastating impact on New Yorkers ensuing within the lack of a whole bunch of 1000’s and even thousands and thousands of {dollars}, typically of inter-generational household wealth in a manner that worsens the racial wealth hole. We applaud the Legal professional Basic’s efforts to carry perpetrators of those crimes accountable and put their like-minded copycats on discover.”

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

Assistant Attorneys Basic Nicholas Kyriacou and Aida Vernon are dealing with the prosecution on this matter underneath the supervision of the Public Integrity Bureau Chief Gerard Murphy and Deputy Chief Kiran Heer, with help from Authorized Assist Analyst Grace Koh and Authorized Assistant Glenis Biscette. Each the Investigations Bureau and the Public Integrity Bureau are a part of the Division for Felony Justice. The Division for Felony Justice is led by Chief Deputy Legal professional Basic José Maldonado and overseen by First Deputy Legal professional Basic Jennifer Levy.

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