Senators announce indictments in New York

New York State Senator Carl Kruger and United States Senator Charles E. Schumer along with Kings County New York District Attorney, Charles J. Hynes announced on February 4th  the indictment of twelve individuals in nine separate cases of mortgage fraud. The indictments stem from the new Mortgage Fraud and Real Estate Crimes Unit created with the Rackets Division. The united was created back in February of 2009 with a federal grant that was obtained through the help of Senator Schumer in the amount of eight hundred seventy five thousand dollars.

District Attorney Hynes remarked on the severity of the crimes and how some individuals have no moral compass and will go to great lengths to defraud others to benefit by illegally activity on the backs of hard working individuals. He further stated that these twelve arrests and indicts should put those unscrupulous individuals on notice that Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud will not be tolerated. He also thanked the Senators for their efforts in securing the resources necessary to make that happen.

State Senator Kruger applauded the District Attorney and his office their efforts in bring these cases to trial and stated that mortgage fraud is current the crime of choice among those who would prey on the elderly and other vulnerable citizens.

United States Senator Charles Schumer added to State Senator Kruger remarks by adding that the Mortgage Fraud and Real Estate Crimes Unit has proven to be the perfect tool against those that would scam and take advantage of citizens who are vulnerable. He stated that he was proud to have been able to secure the funds needed to create the Unit and thanked the District Attorney and his office for their hard work in making the unit successful.

The nine cases and the twelve individuals are as follows:

Victor Koltun and Jarrett Haber were indicted for allegedly placing a mortgage on Mr. and Mrs. Kemp home. Mrs. Kemp received a call in October of 2009 demanding a payment on the mortgage. Mrs. Kemp contacted the District Attorney’s Office as the Kemps have not had a mortgage on their home since 1975. The case was investigated and found that a two hundred twenty five thousand dollar mortgage was placed on the home by Koltun and Haber.  The two used the money to pay off other debt from a scam they conducted in Long Island.

Joseph Nykian and Nitza Jones were indicted for allegedly forging a Power of Attorney in order to obtain a three hundred thousand dollar mortgage on a property in Brooklyn in with the owner knew nothing about. They have been charged with Mortgage fraud and Second Degree Grand Larceny as well as Second degree forgery.

Alexander Landy was charged with second degree grand larceny for purchasing a property in his name which closed at the title company in which he worked. He as the attorney at that company was responsible for filing the mortgage and deed. He never filed the deed and never made payments on the property which he sold without ever having paid Washington Mutual the mortgage of five hundred thousand dollars.

Margareth Blanc was charged with three degree grand larceny for her scheme of collecting over thirty thousand dollars in section 8 rental subsidies. She had a straw buyer obtain ownership of her sister’s home in order to side bar the rules against a New York City collections officer living with a family member who is using section 8 subsidies. She also forged section 8 applications in the straw buyers name and then would intercept the payments.

Deric Nelson is charged with renting apartments in a building he didn’t own by filing a bogus deed with the Register’s Office and collecting rent from those individuals he rented units to.  Mr. Nelson had actually sold the property to a developer some years prior who renovated the building. Mr. Nelson has been charged with first degree attempted grand larceny, first degree offering of a false instrument and first degree of falsifying business records.

Alan Rocoff is charged with pocketing two hundred thousand dollars that should have gone to a church. Mr. Rocoff served as a court appointed attorney and auctioned off a church that had gone into foreclosure. He sold the church as a profit and the profit should have gone back to the church. He has been charged with second degree grand larceny.

Russell Pitt and Nathen Farkas are charged with obtaining a property under false pretenses and then selling that property and keeping the proceeds. Pitt had a friend that was falling behind on her payments. Pitt and Farkas convinced her to refinance the property but that the refinance would have to be in Farkas name in order to refinance the property. The friend agreed. Farkas pleaded guilty to the crime and has paid restitution of sixty thousand dollars. Pitt’s case is still pending.

Earl Davis is charged with third degree grand larceny for renting out apartments in a building that was owned by a business acquaintance. He had no authorization to rent the apartment or collect first and last month’s rent.

Davis is also involved in a lawsuit in which Thomas Lawson is requesting to terminate a contract in which Davis was not able to secure the apartment building in which Lawson was in contract to purchase from Davis.

Davis also placed an ad on craigslist for an apartment unit which he rented and collected over sixteen thousand dollars for. He provided the renter with a forged lease as he was a former manager of the apartment complex. Davis had no authority to rent the unit.

Todd Graham is charged with collecting first and last month’s rent on an apartment unit he rented out but had not authority to do so. He did not manage or own the apartment building in which he rented the unit. Two individuals were defrauded by Mr. Graham craigslist scam.

All cases were investigated by the Mortgage Fraud and Real Estate Crimes Unit.

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