According to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, a Brooklyn man was charged with trying to steal a house in Jamaica from an elderly widow, claiming she had died and he was her son.
Christopher Williams, 41, of Glenmore Avenue in Brownsville, appeared before Queens Criminal Court Judge Joseph Kasper on June 9 in a complaint in which he was charged with grand larceny, falsification of business records, identity theft, fraud scheme and other crimes. . Williams allegedly used forged documents to claim ownership of the Jamaica home, which he then sold for almost $300,000 in cash.
According to the prosecution, the victim and her sister inherited the house from their father, who died in 2011. Two years later, one sister bought the other and became the sole owner of the house on Dunlop Avenue in Jamaica. The residence remained empty for several years as the victim planned renovations that stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Katz said the homeowner received notice in August 2021 that a new deed, mortgage, and other paperwork had been filed with the City Registry Office regarding ownership of the two-story unit. Investigators determined that in early August 2021, documents were filed with the New York City Department of Finance and the City Registry Office to transfer ownership of the house from the defendant, who was listed as the sole heir to the victim’s property, to the buyer.
According to the complaint, the documents also show that the property was allegedly sold by Williams for $270,000 on August 6, 2021. The deed of transfer was submitted along with notice that a $360,000 mortgage was purchased against the property. new owner.
Katz said that in order to sell the house, the defendant had to submit several documents, including the birth and death certificates of the victim and her father, a retired police officer. All documents were provided and the closure continued. The victim’s birth certificate lists him as the defendant’s mother, although her last name was misspelled. The victim’s allegedly fake death certificate lists the address of the property and the date of death as July 9, 2017.
According to the DA’s office, this all happened without the knowledge or consent of the victim and at a time when she was very much alive.
“The defendant allegedly fraudulently obtained ownership of property that was never legally his before selling the house for hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Katz said. “Unfortunately, document fraud is on the rise throughout the area, and often the rightful owner of a property is unaware that their home has been fraudulently stolen. That is why the Bureau of Housing and Workers’ Protection, which I created in my first year in office, is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting such crimes. No one should suffer the loss of home ownership at the hands of scammers. The accused has been charged accordingly, and if found guilty, he faces imprisonment.”
Judge Kasper set the date for the defendant’s return to July 28. Williams faces up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.
“Case fraud continues to be a priority for the Sheriff’s Office and we will continue to conduct joint investigations with the Queens District Attorney’s Office and other prosecutors to arrest those involved in this criminal activity and return property rights to the victims of these fraudulent schemes.” This was stated by New York Sheriff Anthony Miranda. “The victim in this investigation is an elderly woman, and all too often these investigations affect our city’s most vulnerable communities and individuals.”