Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Six Months After Arrest, Upstate NY Prosecutor Obtains Grand Jury Indictment Against Real Estate Operator Suspected Of Using Forged Documents In Snatch & Flip Home Hijacking Racket; Use Of Trust Transfers, Sloppy Handwritten Paperwork Aroused County Officials' Attention To Potentially Fraudulent Deals

In Rennselaer County, New York, the Albany Times-Union reports:
  • A trail of forged documents filed at the Rensselaer County Clerk's Office has resulted in a county grand jury indicting a 46-year-old man on 20 felony counts [].

    Zarak O. Ali of Maiden Lane, Albany, is accused of forging deeds to five foreclosed properties in Brunswick, Rensselaer and Troy from January to March and filing them with the clerk's office, according to the indictment.(1)

    Ali listed his business address as 40 Wall St., New York City, the location for The Trump Building, in leases provided tenants.

    The State Police Special Investigations Unit uncovered evidence of forged deeds in Rensselaer County and six other Capital Region and Hudson Valley counties extending back 18 months. Authorities said the forged deeds affected people who believed they were getting a deal on buying a home or renting an apartment.

    "I'm thrilled he's been indicted," said County Clerk Frank Merola. Members of Merola's staff testified before the grand jury.

    In the indictment handed up to County Judge Andrew Ceresia, Ali was indicted for four counts each of second-degree forgery, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree falsifying business records and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing.
    County officials said in April said their attention was drawn to the transfers due to them being between two trusts and the sloppy paperwork. The paragraph-long property descriptions and trustees' names were written in by hand instead of typed, which was also suggested something wasn't right, officials said.
For the story, see Rensselaer County indictments filed in fake deed cases (Albany man indicted on 20 felony counts in deeds investigation).
(1) Ali had been earlier arrested on related charges back in April. See NY State Cops Bust Albany Man In Alleged Snatch & Flip Scam (More Arrests Expected In Racket That Used Forged Deeds To Hijack Title To As Many As 80 Homes, Then Sell Or Rent Them To Unwitting Targets Throughout Seven Upstate NY Counties).

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