Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Long Island Feds: Landlord Used Forged Will To Posthumously Swindle $1.2 Million In Real Estate, Financial Accounts From Deceased Tenant After Discovering Her Lifeless Body Inside Apartment

From the Office of the U.S.Attorney (Central Islip, New York):
  • A four-count indictment was unsealed [...] charging the defendant John Derounian with mail fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme to defraud the estate of an elderly victim of more than $1.2 million. The indictment was returned under seal by a federal grand jury sitting in Central Islip, New York, on July 26, 2016.
    To devise a scheme to steal from the deceased is despicably morbid. Mr. Derounian’s alleged crimes are unconscionable. Postal Inspectors have no tolerance for anyone who preys on innocent victims, either dead or alive, and will spare no resources to ensure those who commit these crimes are brought to justice,” stated Postal Inspector-in-Charge Bartlett.

    As detailed in the initial complaint, prior court proceedings, and the indictment [], Derounian is charged for his role in a scheme to steal the entire estate of a woman, who is identified in the indictment as Jane Doe.

    On November 12, 2015, Derounian claimed to have found the body of Jane Doe, Derounian’s tenant, at her Sea Cliff home. Subsequent to Jane Doe’s death, Derounian is alleged to have placed a series of telephone calls and sent emails to Morgan Stanley in an effort to drain Jane Doe’s financial accounts of over $200,000.

    Further, in an effort to perpetuate the fraud, Derounian created a forged will naming himself as the executor and sole beneficiary, aside from a comparatively small charitable donation, of Jane Doe’s estate.

    Derounian allegedly then used the authority of the forged will to cremate the body of Jane Doe and sell her real property for over $1 million, which he transferred into bank accounts he controlled. As a result of the investigation to date, funds totaling over $1.2 million have been seized from Derounian, and the indictment seeks forfeiture of those funds.
Source: Sea Cliff Man Indicted For Scheme To Defraud More Than $1 Million From Elderly Woman’s Estate.

See also, Ex-con charged with fraud, ID theft after death of tenant:
  • [S]ources tell News 12 Derounian is being investigated in connection with the death. Back in 1984, Derounian was convicted of murdering a Sea Cliff jeweler. He served 20 years in state prison and was released in 2007.

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