FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Long Island Man Indicted for
Stealing Canarsie Home from 65-Year-Old Woman
Defendant Allegedly Transferred Ownership to Himself and Resold Property for a Profit
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito, today announced that a Nassau County man has been indicted for illegally transferring the title of a multi-occupancy Canarsie home from its true owner to himself— then selling the property to an unaware buyer. The defendant’s limited liability company is also named in the indictment.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly stole valuable Brooklyn real estate from its rightful owner and brazenly resold it to an unsuspecting buyer. Thanks to the diligence and hard work of our prosecutors and investigators, we were able to expose this defendant’s shameful conduct of alleged fraud and deceit.”
Sheriff Fucito said, “We are pleased with our investigation into the deed fraud activities of Kenneth Pearson. Property in NYC is a major investment for our citizens and this arrest sends a message that deed fraud crimes are being aggressively pursued and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Kenneth Pearson, 56, of Nassau County, New York. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree grand larceny, second- degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree falsifying business records and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing. He faces up to 7 ½ to 15 years in prison if convicted on the top count. The company, Jean Swilling, LLC, is also variously charged in the indictment. Bail was set at $75,000 bond or $25,000 cash.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, in May 2016, the defendant stole a two-story residential building located on East 85th Street in Canarsie, Brooklyn, by filing—with the Office of the City Register—a real property deed transfer containing the forged signature of the property’s rightful owner. The deed and title were transferred to Jean Swilling, LLC, a limited liability company owned and operated by the defendant.
In July 2016, once the title was transferred, the defendant negotiated and completed a deal to sell the home to an unsuspecting buyer for approximately $265,000. Neither the buyer nor his attorney was aware of the property’s fraudulent title.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the fraudulent transfer was discovered by the property’s rightful owner, who filed then a complaint with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Action Center.
The case was investigated by Sheriff Detectives Michael Trano and Richard Leblond of the New York City Department of Finance, Office of the Sheriff, Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Patrick Cappock, of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Richard Farrell, Chief of the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Dana Roth, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Felice Sontupe, Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.