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Westchester County DA indicts six in $2M home deed theft case

Group allegedly stole property deeds and fraudulently accessed mortgage loans

The Westchester County District Attorney announced on Friday that it has indicted a group of six individuals and a corporation for allegedly stealing property deeds from distressed homeowners, fraudulently accessing mortgage loans, and evading state taxes. 

The alleged perpetrators, including licensed realtors and an attorney, fraudulently obtained $2 million in loans and evaded nearly $200,000 in state taxes, according to the indictment. 

The indictment states the transactions are related to three properties, two in New Rochelle and one in Yonkers. The properties are valued at $2.5 million total.

Defendants include licensed real estate broker Marcia Campbell and her husband, Fred Campbell, a licensed real estate salesperson. The couple’s attorney did not reply to a request for comments. 

“Deed theft schemes exploit the most vulnerable and can have lasting housing and financial impacts to families,” Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah said in a statement. “My office will seek to hold the defendants accountable for allegedly stealing titles to victims’ homes while pretending to help them.”

According to the indictment, the defendants would identify financially distressed properties and promise mortgage assistance to homeowners to induce them to sign the deeds to their properties over to Campal Corp. One of the defendants falsely represented himself as an attorney for Chase to a homeowner, the indictment alleges. 

The homeowners of two properties allegedly signed over to the defendants the deeds to their homes because they believed they were receiving mortgage assistance. Rather than obtaining a refinanced mortgage loan, the homeowners faced eviction or were pushed out of their homes. 

The district attorney also claims the defendants acquired financially distressed properties through loans that could be fraudulently procured. 

In total, the group allegedly forged financial statements and filed false tax documents to access $1.5 million in short-term “fix and flip” loans, in addition to securing $500,000 in COVID relief small business loans. They ultimately defaulted on the mortgages, the district attorney claimed. 

According to the indictment, the group allegedly acquired a property in bankruptcy proceedings in a short sale, and two defendants moved in and occupied that home as their primary residence. 

The six individuals were arrested and arraigned in June. A Westchester County Grand Jury charged the defendants with conspiracy, grand larceny, falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing criminal tax fraud and repeated failure to file a corporate tax return.     

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