A 54-year-old man who forged a a judge’s signature to claim possession of his Bed-Stuy house, which he then sold, has been convicted of grand larceny, forgery and other related charges, announced the office of Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson.
On January 6, 2015, the defendant, Joseph McCray, 54, of Niagara Falls, NY, filed a fraudulent court order purportedly signed by Brooklyn Civil Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Lewis, which effectively granted him ownership of 119 McDonough Street. Four months later, using the forged order, the defendant sold the building for $500,000, from which he received two checks totaling almost $250,000.
According to court documents, McCray had been evicted in September 2002, but continued to reside in the building, presenting himself as the landlord, collecting rent while filing fraudulent papers in Civil Court. The forgery and sale followed more than a decade of legal actions by the defendant to assert ownership of the building, where he was a holdover tenant, but never paid rent.
“After spending years trying to game the court system, this defendant brazenly forged a judge’s signature in an attempt to steal the home of a long-standing Bedford-Stuyvesant resident,” said Thompson. “This case illustrates the commitment of my Real Estate Fraud Unit to protect Brooklyn homeowners and my continued determination to hold fraudsters accountable.”
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