Brandon Sestoso, 33, Hicksville, New York, his brother Chas Sestoso, 31, Hicksville, New York and Jesse Kusinow, 32, Howell, New Jersey were charged with breaking into a residence in Jamaica Estates, New York in April, 2015, changing the locks and refusing to allow the true homeowners to enter the premises until they transferred the deed of the house to the defendants.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, “In a truly bizarre case, the defendants are accused of breaking into a Queens residence and locking the true owners out, then forcing them to negotiate with the defendants if they wanted to gain access to their own home. If convicted, the defendants face lengthy time behind bars.”
According to the charges, the homeowner’s wife left her Grand Central Parkway residence on the morning of April 29, 2015, and when she returned that evening she discovered that the locks on her residence had been changed and the three defendants inside. The defendants allegedly informed her that they were working with the bank that held the mortgage on the property and that she could not gain access to the property unless she signed documents pertaining to the house.
It is alleged that when the homeowner’s wife informed the defendants that her husband was the sole property owner and that he was in China, they had her call him. They allegedly told him that if he and his wife wanted to gain access to their house, he would have to sign some documents, which they e-mailed to him – including a deed transfer for the property. Although the husband allegedly signed and e-mailed several of the documents back to the defendants, he did not sign or send the deed transfer. As a result, the husband allegedly received numerous text messages and emails from the defendants requesting the signed deed transfer.
The following day, the defendants allegedly gave the homeowner’s wife ten minutes to retrieve belongings from the first-floor of the house. When she entered the residences, she allegedly observed that the interior of her home had been ransacked.
Finally, it is alleged that the homeowner returned to his residence with a locksmith on May 16, 2015, and removed all of the locks that the defendants had placed on the residence. Inside, the homeowner allegedly discovered the house to be in disarray and property to be missing, including jewelry, knives, cash and the deed and documents related to the ownership of his home.
Brandon Sestoso is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, unlawful eviction and second-degree criminal trespass. If convicted, he faces up to fifteen years in prison.
Jesse Kusinow was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on June 10, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree burglary, third-degree grand larceny, third-degree
criminal mischief, unlawful eviction and second-degree criminal trespass. Kusinow, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, has been held in jail in lieu of $75,000 bail since his arraignment. His next court date is August 11, 2015.
Chas Sestoso was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on May 26, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief, unlawful
eviction and second-degree criminal trespass. Sestoso, who faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, was released on $10,000 bail and ordered to return to court on September 15, 2015.
The investigation was conducted by the Queens District Attorney Brown’s Economic Crimes Bureau with the assistance of the New York City Police Department’s Special Fraud Squad.
Assistant District Attorney Christine E. Burke, of the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gregory C. Pavlides, Bureau Chief, and Christine Hanophy and Kristen A. Kane, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney Linda M. Cantoni.