Wednesday, June 29, 2016

NYC Home Title Hijacker Cops Guilty Plea That Calls For 12 Months Jail Time For Using Forged Deed To Swipe Unoccupied House; Elderly Victim Says Nearly $500K In Family Heirlooms Were Destroyed

In Jamaica, Queens, the New York Daily News reports:
  • A Queens ex-con pleaded guilty [last week] to stealing an elderly woman's house out from under her.

    Darrell Beatty, 51, pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a forged instrument for using a phony deed to swipe Jennifer Merin's Laurelton house out from under her.

    As a result of the plea deal, he'll get even more free housing — it calls for him to get a year in jail.

    Merin, 72, said that's not enough time. "I'm glad he's going to jail. He deserves to go to jail but I think that the sentence was too brief," she told the Daily News after Beatty's plea. "He lived in my house for longer than he will be in jail and he'll be out on the streets again."

    Queens District Attorney Richard Brown acknowledged that Merin had been put through hell.

    "The victim of this complicated con was thrown into a living nightmare when she discovered that her family's home — filled with the precious memories and mementos of three generations — was being inhabited by squatters who had locked her out," Brown said.

    "Fortunately, the property now has been returned to its rightful owner and the defendant, in admitting his guilt to possessing a fake deed which transferred the property to him, faces time behind bars for his crime."

    The brick Tudor style house had been left to Merin when her mother died. Her family had lived in it since it was built in 1930.

    Merin, whose primary residence is in Manhattan, realized something was wrong in May 2014 when water bills spiked for the 141 Ave. property.

    First she discovered the locks had been changed — and then peeked through the windows to find her furniture and family heirlooms were missing.

    She eventually found out an ex-con named Darrell Beatty was living inside with his two sons and a pit bull — but the cops said they couldn't do anything because of the phony deed.

    Merin had to go to court to get the property back in her name and to get Beatty evicted. He was eventually booted in late 2015. Merin said he did $80,000 worth of damage to her property, and destroyed almost $500,000 in family heirlooms.

    "My family worked, came here with nothing to build a life and all their achievements, all their effort was in that house that was left to me and now it's gone. It's all gone," Merin said, mentioning that her parents emigrated to the U.S. from Russia in the early 1900s. "My life will never be the same."

    Beatty and his lawyer declined comment after the hearing before Justice Barry Kron.

    "He has shown no remorse for what he has done to me. It has been devastating for me," Merin said.

    Beatty is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 12.
Source: Ex-con pleads guilty to stealing elderly woman's Queens house, faces year in jail.

See also, Queens District Attorney press release: Queens Squatter Pleads Guilty To Possessing "Fake Deed" Used To Steal Elderly Woman's Queens Home (Defendant Admits to Possessing Fake Deed Which Transferred Property Into His Name).

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