Darrell Beatty, 49, Queens, New York, has been charged with illegally transferring the deed of an elderly woman’s home into his own name and then moving into the house.
The defendant was arrested on his way to Housing Court where he was fighting eviction proceedings initiated by the victim. The defendant is awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court where he is charged with second-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property in the second and fourth degrees, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, falsifying business records in the first degree and scheme to defraud in the first degree. If convicted, Beatty faces up to 15 years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, the defendant filed a deed transfer with the City on or about March 6, 2014. The previous owner’s name was listed as Edith Moore. At no time has anyone by that name owned the property. The true owner is Jennifer Merin, who’s family purchased the home in 1930. The homeowner currently resides in Manhattan and didn’t realize anything was amiss until she received an increased water bill in May of 2014.
The complaint alleges that Merin went to the home on 141st Avenue, Laurelton, New York, and noticed that the locks had been changed on the front door and the garage door appeared broken. The car she stored in the garage was missing and instead the space was filled with furnishings and other possessions that had been in the house – many of the items broken and damaged.
According to the complaint, the defendant went to National Grid in June of 2014, and requested services. At that time, the defendant allegedly produced identification with the 141st Avenue address listed as well as a notarized deed stating that in March of 2013, he had purchased the property from someone named Edith Moore.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced the charges.
The case was investigated by the New York State Police and the Deed Fraud Unit of the New York City Office of the Sheriff.
Assistant District Attorney Christine 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 Christina Hanophy and Kristen A. Kane, Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
District Attorney Brown said, “This is a particularly disturbing case. This woman’s home – her sanctuary filled with the memories of three generations – was allegedly taken from her with the filing of a phoney deed. The defendant is alleged to have stolen the victim’s home with the stroke of a pen. The defendant must face the consequences for his alleged acts.”