Welcome to The Home Equity Theft Reporter, a blog dedicated to informing the consumer public and the legal profession about Home Equity Theft issues. This blog will consist of information describing the various forms of Home Equity Theft and links to news reports & other informational sources from throughout the country about the victims of Home Equity Theft and what government authorities and others are doing about it.
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
Manhattan Feds Bust Alleged Home Hijacking Racket, Accusing Pair Of Using Forged Deeds To Steal Title To Over 40 Foreclosed Homes In NYC, Miami Areas Worth $17+ Million
From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (New York City):
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Patricia Tarasca, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Region for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (“FDIC-OIG”), announced the unsealing today [January 25] of an indictment charging ISSAK ALMALEH, a/k/a “Issak Izrael,” and ANTOANETA IOTOVA with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements to the FDIC, in connection with a wide-ranging scheme to falsely claim ownership of more than $17 million worth of property in New York and Florida. [...] ALMALEH and IOTOVA were arrested  in Hollywood, Florida,[...].
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Issak Almaleh and Antoaneta Iotova allegedly forged documents to falsely claim ownership over $17 million of property in New York and Florida. As alleged, the defendants’ brazen scheme led to at least one victim being wrongfully evicted from the victim’s own home and others signing leases and paying deposits to the defendants for homes the defendants did not actually own. Thanks to the work of the FDIC Office of Inspector General, the defendants’ alleged frauds have now been foreclosed.”
From at least 2012, ALMALEH and IOTOVA have filed fraudulent and forged property deeds purporting to transfer ownership of more than 40 real properties located in New York City and the greater Miami, Florida, area, with a combined estimated market value in excess of $17 million, to entities controlled by ALMALEH and IOTOVA, specifically, New York Sport Foundation, New York Mortgage Corporation, and Women in International Relations, Inc.
ALMALEH and IOTOVA identified properties that had been subject to foreclosure, and were owned by financial institutions insured by the FDIC. ALMALEH and IOTOVA then filed fraudulent and forged warranty deeds that supposedly reflected the transfer of these properties from the financial institutions to entities controlled by ALMALEH and IOTOVA for a nominal sum. ALMALEH, who was a commissioned notary, would notarize the documents as genuinely signed by representatives of the financial institutions. IOTOVA would sign the documents on behalf of the entities controlled by the defendants. ...
CBC News: Betrayal of Trust (A CBC investigation reveals how lawyers across Canada have misappropriated and mishandled clients money, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars, or sometimes even charging vulnerable people top dollar for shoddy services)
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