A Dix Hills resident has been indicted on charges of filing two fraudulent deeds to fraudulently acquire ownership of two residential homes, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday.
Frank Torres, 60, of Dix Hills, and Andy Francis, 62, of Elmont, are each charged with two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony. Additionally, Francis is charged with12 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Torres is charged with 10 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the first Degree, a class E felony. Francis is yet to be arraigned. Torres was arraigned Thursday before Justice Barry Kron in Queens County Supreme Court.
“No homeowner should have to fear theft of their home from scam artists,” James said. “Too often, we see cases where individuals file false documents, forge signatures, and steal deeds from rightful owners. We will do everything in our power to hold these unscrupulous individuals accountable.”
“The Sheriff’s Office takes the threat of deed fraud very seriously and will continue to work jointly with the Attorney General to pursue and arrest those who not only commit deed-related crimes, but, as a result, put law-abiding citizens at risk for losing their homes, said New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito.”
“This arrest sends a clear message that the City Register is vigilant in the deed recording process to ensure that it is not compromised by criminals who think they can circumvent the law,” said New York City Department of Finance City Register Annette Hill.”
As alleged in the indictment and statements made at the arraignment in Queens County Supreme Court, between September and December 2017, Francis and Torres illegally transferred ownership of 224-15 138th Avenue, Laurelton, Queens, and 34 East 95th Street, Brownsville, Brooklyn, from the lawful owners to two companies controlled by Torres, by recording a deed and five supporting documents containing forged signatures with the New York City Register’s Office.
In both instances, the lawful owners never signed the deed nor the supporting documents and they never gave Francis, Torres, or anyone else, permission to sign on their behalf.