Thursday, December 17, 2015

Upstate New York Landlord Under Investigation For Hijacking Possession Of Vacant Bank-Owned Foreclosed Home, Then Renting It To Unwitting Couple, Fleecing Them Out Of $46K

In Brockport. New York, WHAM-TV Channel 13 reports:
  • Brockport police and the New York State attorney general are now investigating a Penfield man accused of renting out a foreclosed home he never owned.

    13WHAM broke this story on Wednesday. Thursday, a Your Stories investigation also revealed this man has dozens of properties and owes the federal government money.

    Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti says Charles Hain could face fraud, grand larceny, impersonation and burglary charges for collecting rent on property he didn't own.

    "We take these allegations very seriously," the chief said.

    Public records show Hain's troubled history as a landlord dates back to 2009. The attorney general's office settled a lawsuit against Hain and his sister for withholding security deposits.

    "Desperate people do desperate things," Varrenti said. "This is just an example of, unfortunately, the world that we live in. People are capable of doing virtually anything for their own independent gain."

    Records at the Monroe County clerk's office show Hain owns dozens of properties. Liens are filed against 21 of them. County records also show Hain owes the I.R.S. $2 million in taxes from the spring of last year.

    "How many more people are going to go through this? It's crazy," said Jamie Ergott, who paid him to rent their home, but he didn't own it. The couple's accusing Hain of duping them out of $46,000.

    This was even news to the bank that did own the home. The bank released the following statement:

    "We completed a foreclosure sale in August and were preparing to transfer the property to HUD when we were surprised to learn that it had been rented to tenants by an unauthorized third party."

    This week, 13WHAM tried to ask Hain questions about this situation, but he got it in his pickup and drove away.

    With local and state authorities now investigating, he could face criminal charges.

    "It definitely makes me feel better. At some point, justice will be served and he won't continue to do this to other people and mess with their families," Ergott said.

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