Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Upstate NY Man That Targeted Foreclosed Homes In Title Hijacking Racket Cops Guilty Plea In One County; Prosecutions In Neighboring Jurisdictions To Continue

In Troy, New York, the Albany Times Union reports:
  • An Albany man who was the focus of a multi-county investigation of phony property deeds pleaded guilty to forgery and falsification of business records on Friday [February 17].

    Zarak O. Ali, 43, is expected to be sentenced to 3 to 9 years in state prison as part of the plea deal reached by his attorney and the Rensselaer County District Attorney's office.

    Ali pleaded guilty to the charges after state Supreme Court Justice Andrew Ceresia outlined the parameters of the deal in court.

    Prosecutors said it was expected that Ali's sentence would run concurrently with the sentence he receives for an expected plea in Albany County. But the judge said there was no guarantee that judges in Saratoga, Schenectady and Columbia counties would adhere to such a sentencing agreement.

    Ali of Maiden Lane, Albany, was 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.

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

    The State Police Special Investigations Unit uncovered evidence of forged deeds in Rensselaer County, as well as the 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. The status of the other cases could not be immediately learned on Friday.

    Ali was indicted in Rensselaer County in October on 20 counts charging that he forged deeds for properties around the county. He was charged with second-degree forgery and criminal possession of a forged instrument and first-degree falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing.
Source: Man admits forging deeds in Rensselaer County (He's accused of similar crimes in other Capital Region and Hudson Valley counties).

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