Real Estate Scams Flourish in Brooklyn

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Despite a depressed real estate market, mortgage fraud and other related crimes continue to be a major problem, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. Today he announced charges against 12 people for a variety of unrelated housing schemes, including mortgage fraud.

Three out of the 12 scams involved people posing as landlords and collecting rent and security deposits on apartments they didn't own.

Those charged come from a variety of backgrounds. "Included among the 12 filings today is an attorney, a resigned attorney, and a suspended attorney. In addition there's a New York City corrections officer and also, there are incredible to me, repeat offenders," Hynes says.

Prosecutors say two of the alleged repeat offenders, Russell Pitt and Nathan Farkas, convinced an unemployed Brooklyn woman to grant them power of attorney so they could refinance her home. Instead, prosecutors say they sold her home and kept the proceeds. Attorneys for both men could not be reached.

One victim, Jean Kemp, says she was shocked to learn a $225,000 dollar mortgage had been taken out on her home in Marine Park. "When the guy told me that I said, 'you're out of your mind, I never took a mortgage, our house has been paid since 1987," Kemp says.

The Brooklyn DA's office says it's special real estate crimes unit continues to receive hundreds of complaints.


More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by