Plot literally stole the houses from the owners
Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown announced that 11 people, including a Cedarhurst resident, were charged in an alleged scheme that defrauded homeowners.
Nissan Pinchasov, who is reported to have residences in Cedarhurst and Brooklyn, was one of 11 people, along with two corporations, charged by the Queens County District Attorney on March 1 for an alleged deed fraud scheme that occurred from August 2012 to January of this year.
Pinchasov, 30, who is listed on his LinkedIn page as an investor/salesman at Kings Development Group in Flushing, is charged with first- and second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, second-degree grand larceny, unlawful eviction, fraudulently obtaining a signature, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, first-degree falsifying business records and first-degree scheme to defraud. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
Among those who were also arrested are three lawyers. Two of the reported victims include a hospitalized military veteran on the waiting list for an organ transplant and a single mother of five children. Nine of the 11 charged in custody; another two are being sought, officials said.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that the investigation began in 2014 after several Queens homeowners told his office they had received unsolicited calls from the Kings Development Group of Queens. The caller allegedly promised to help the homeowners with any financial problems they were having with their home, Brown said.
“Instead of tossing the victims a lifeline, half of whom were elderly individuals, the defendants are accused of creating a financial nightmare for the homeowners and placing them in worse financial situations than when first contacted by the defendants,” the district attorney said, in a prepared release.
“As a result of the alleged fraudulent deed transfer scheme, the homeowners are no longer the titled owners of their own properties and therefore cannot move toward a resolution with their own mortgage companies,” Brown said. “In each case, the homeowner must retain a real estate attorney to have the fraudulent deed reversed, resulting in additional financial hardships on them.
The alleged fraudulent real estate operation in which the “purported assistance” that the defendants offered was actually no assistance at all in resolving the homeowners’ problems with their properties but rather a scheme to get homeowners to unknowingly sign over the deeds to their property.
A review of deeds filed with the City Register determined that the defendants had received deed transfers from the homeowners, which transferred ownership of the properties to a corporate entity.
Although the homeowners were no longer the recorded owners of the properties, they were still financially responsible for the mortgages. Once the new deeds were recorded, the defendants allegedly: 1) advised the current tenants of the homes that they were the new owners and began collecting the monthly rents; 2) evicted the current tenants; 3) notified the New York City Housing Authority and/or the Department of Social Services that they were the new owners of the properties and — by providing a copy of the newly recorded deeds — began collecting monthly subsidies for the tenants in the homes; or 4) placed new tenants into the victims’ properties and began collecting monthly rents in excess of $1,000 for each tenant.
The investigation that was jointly conducted by the District Attorney Office’s Economic Crimes Bureau and the New York City Sheriff Office’s Deed Fraud Unit.
“The Sheriff’s Office stands ready to investigate and arrest those who threaten the physical and financial security of people in their homes,” said New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito. “We hope that these arrests send a strong message that the victimization of homeowners will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our partners in the City Register’s Office and the District Attorney to diligently identify and counter criminal activity with unrelenting momentum.”
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