FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
New York City Police Officer Convicted in Connection
With Transferring Title to Bedford-Stuyvesant Property to Herself
Faces Up to 7 Years in Prison at Sentencing
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a New York City police officer has been convicted in connection with transferring title from a neglected three-family house in Bedford-Stuyvesant by filing a deed transferring the property from the deceased owner’s nephew to herself in 2012, only to see her scheme unravel when the nephew was approached by an actual potential buyer in 2014.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant shamelessly took advantage of a vacant house to enrich herself. She has now been held accountable. I am committed to protecting homeowners as Brooklyn’s property values soar and criminals try to cash in. I urge property owners to register their homes with ACRIS (Automated City Register Information System) so that they are automatically informed of changes made to documents associated with their property.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Police Officer Blanche O’Neal, 40, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She was convicted of first-degree perjury, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing today following a bench trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. She will be sentenced on April 18, 2018, at which time she faces up to 7 years in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on September 12, 2012, the defendant, who is an NYPD officer, executed a deed that stated that she bought the property, 23A Vernon Avenue, from the nephew of the deceased homeowner, Lillian Hudson, who died in 1993. The nephew and several relatives inherited the property, though it sat vacant and neglected for many years.
The defendant, according to trial testimony, falsely indicated in her filings with the New York City Department of Finance, Office of the City Register, that she purchased the property for $10,000 from the nephew and the deed was purportedly signed by him. The Office of the City Register recorded the deed on October 11, 2012.
Furthermore, in connection with a burglary involving the property, the defendant falsely testified before a grand jury on September 29, 2014, that she owned the property.
In 2014, the nephew and the other heirs were approached by a buyer in the form of a business entity known as 23A Vernon LLC. That is when Lillian Hudson’s heirs discovered the 2012 deed allegedly filed by the defendant.
The case was investigated by the New York City Office of the Sheriff, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Investigator Teresa Russo, under the supervision of Chief Investigator James Grayson, First Deputy Sheriff Maureen Kokeas, and the overall supervision of Sheriff Joseph Fucito.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Frank Dudis and Assistant District Attorney Ellen Koenig of the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Richard Farrell, Unit Chief, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.