East New York

Man charged with stealing elderly neighbor’s deed to East New York home

January 15, 2019 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Police siren. Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP
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A man who had been hired to help care for his elderly, diabetic neighbor in East New York has been charged with stealing and trying to sell the 85-year-old man’s home.

Jordan Horsford, 29, was indicted Wednesday on 12 counts, including grand larceny and identity theft. The elderly man hired Horsford in 2016, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, and Horsford eventually took on more responsibilities.

Then, on June 19, 2017, Horsford allegedly convinced the victim to sign away the deed to his home on Barbey Street, according to Gothamist.

“The defendant allegedly told the victim he risked losing his home if he did not sign a document, and had the document notarized by a notary. The defendant then allegedly realized he needed another document notarized, but the notary refused so the defendant allegedly copied and cut and pasted her original signature. He then recorded the deed, which had been signed over to him,” a press release from Gonzalez’s office says.

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Horsford allegedly tried to sell the property, but the sale fell through when a suspicious title company would not insure the house, according to Gothamist. After the interested buyer contacted the victim’s family and the senior’s daughter received a letter from the Department of Finance about the filing of documents related to the home, the Brooklyn DA’s Office got involved.

This is one of the latest examples of a growing problem of deed theft, especially among minorities, according to Gothamist. In November, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmember Robert Cornegy held a press conference to address the subject.

The two officials said tactics like “fraud, the lien system and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Third Party Transfer program” are being used to steal homes.

Adams said that “when Crown Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Prospect Heights, Brownsville and East New York were not attractive places to live, these families were there. And now that they’ve become gentrified, there’s an onslaught on black and brown homeowners.”

Both officials demanded a federal investigation.

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