An East New York scam artist will spend five months in jail followed by five years probation for stealing his 85-year-old neighbor’s home in an attempt to sell it in 2017.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun handed down the sentence on Wednesday after the 29-year-old defendant plead guilty to third-degree larceny and consented to nullifying a fraudulent deed he obtained by duping the elderly victim, according to Brooklyn’s top prosecutor.
“With today’s sentencing, this defendant is being held accountable for preying on his elderly neighbor and abusing his trust,” said District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
The defendant struck up a relationship with his geriatric neighbor in August 2016, when he began helping the elderly man with odd jobs, including hauling his wheelchair up flights of stairs and helping him in and out of cars in exchange for a modest fee paid by victim’s family, according to prosecutors.
Over time, the defendant became more involved in caring for the victim, whose family was paying him $400 weekly by spring 2017 to serve the man Meals on Wheels deliveries, ensure he took his medicine, and to check in on him at night, Gonzalez said.
It was at some point later that year that the defendant tricked his elderly client into signing away the deed to his Barbey Street home, telling him he would lose the house if he didn’t put his name to the document, according to Gonzalez.
After forging another signature needed to finalize the deed transfer, the thief immediately tried to sell the house, but a title company refused to insure the house, and a would-be purchaser reached out to the victim’s family suspecting foul play, prosecutor’s claim.
And at roughly the same time, the victim’s daughter found a letter from the city’s Department of Finance while going through her father’s mail notifying him of the deed change, and the case quickly found its way to the district attorney’s office.