Nine people, including the chief deputy clerk in Brooklyn, were indicted Tuesday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of taking part in a series of home scams, one of which cost an elderly Jamaica widow her home, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The defendants were charged with numerous charges, including grand larceny, identity theft and conspiracy in an alleged scam that landed them more than $1.4 million in fraudulent transactions, according to the DA.
Their arrest came as the result of a year−long investigation by the DA Office’s Elder Fraud Unit after Dorothy Thomas, 74, altered the office that her home was sold without her knowledge and she was facing foreclosure.
“This complicated and devious scheme allegedly involved defendants who were so greedy that they bought and sold three properties ... in just over eight days,” Brown said in a statement.
The indicted group allegedly took out mortgages on three houses — Thomas’ residence at 107−43 Union Hall St., another at 125−13 107th St. in Richmond Hill and at 245A Schaeffer St. in Brooklyn, according to the DA.
In Thomas’s case, the defendants allegedly had someone pose as her husband, Eugene Thomas, who died 22 years ago, and sold the house to a straw buyer with a $490,500 mortgage, the DA said.
In the other two cases, the houses were sold by legitimate owners to straw buyers who used stolen identities, Brown said. All of the mortgages, which were allegedly forged with the city registry, are now in default according to the DA.
One of the alleged scammers was John D’Emic, an attorney who was appointed to serve as chief deputy clerk in Brooklyn in January, the DA said. D’Emic allegedly provided false documentation for the transactions, according to Brown.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 146.
©2008 Community News Group
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