New Twist on Foreclosure Fraud

The United States District Attorney for Queens, New York, Richard A. Brown, announced in a press release last month that Harry Coumnas, age 50, has been indicted for second degree attempted grand larceny, second – degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and other charges related to his involvement in forging another man’s signature and attempting to claim monies owed to that man and his wife as a result of the surplus from the sale of their foreclosed home.

Mr. Coumnas, from Flushing, New York according to the indictment is accused of attempting to steal over one hundred thousand dollars from Leonard Lum and Betty Lum and then attempting to dispute the couple when his scheme was exposed. In addition to the second degree attempted grand larceny and second degree criminal possession of a forged instrument; Mr. Coumnas is charged with first degree falsifying business records and first degree offering a false instrument for filing.

Mr. Coumnas if convicted on all charges faces a maximum of fifteen years if convicted.

According to the complaint against Mr. Coumnas, Leonard Lum was the owner of the residential property located at 73-20 32nd Avenue in Corona, Queens. The residential property was foreclosed on in March of 2003. The residential property was then sold at auction and as a result the sale resulted in a surplus. The surplus owed to Leonard Lum and his wife, Betty for an amount of one hundred twenty eight thousand forty four dollars. Mr. Lum on December 17, 2008 filed an action in Queens Supreme Court to collect the surplus resulting from the auction. Mr. Coumnas on February 9th then filed a petition against Mr. Lum’s action claiming that Mr. Lum had conveyed the rights to the surplus to him in exchange for twenty five thousand dollars.

Mr. Coumnas then hired an attorney to file the papers in an attempt to obtain the surplus owed to Mr. Lum. The documents that were filed where false in nature and the signatures of Mr. Lum and his wife, Betty were forged. The forged document allegedly conveyed Mr. Lum had agreed to sign the rights over to the surplus in exchange for the twenty five thousand dollars. Mr. and Mrs. Lum according to the criminal complaint filed never received twenty five thousand dollars and never agreed to convey the surplus to Mr. Coumnas.

The investigation of the case was conducted by John W. Kenna, Sergeant for the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau and under the supervision of Lt. Robert Burke; Chief Lawrence Festa and Deputy Chief Albert Velardi.

The case will be prosecuted by, Mariana Zelig; Assistant District Attorney for the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau and will be under the supervision of Bureau Chief, Gregory Pavlides, Deputy Bureau Chief, Christina Hanophy, Executive Assistant District Attorney, Peter Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney, Linda Cantoni.

An indictment is merely an allegation that a crime has been committed and the defendant is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark bookmark
tabs-top  banner ad

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.