A Long Island man has received a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for stealing the Bushwick property that belonged to an 89-year-old woman.
48-year-old Shavard Callaway was sentenced to an indeterminate term of five to 10 years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Phyllis Chu. The sentencing follows a jury trial that convicted Callaway of a number of crimes back in November 2022.
Among the list of convictions Callaway incurred included two counts of second-degree grand larceny, one count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, four counts of second-degree forgery, and one count of first-degree falsifying business records.
According to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, 48-year-old Shavard Callaway stole the home from an unnamed New York woman and proceeded to sell it back in December 2014.
Callaway was able to successfully sell the home to a company called WI Management for $250,000. Callaway achieved this after he created and utilized a forged power of attorney, posing as the homeowner’s nephew.
The homeowner — living with relatives in Upstate New York at the time — discovered the fraudulent act in January 2015, when she had a deal to sell the property. The prospective purchaser discovered Callaway’s false deed on record after doing a title check, which led to the homeowner starting a civil litigation to reverse the fraud.
Callaway was indicted back in 2017. He had hired an attorney, who had negotiated Callaway’s surrender, but Callaway made the decision to avoid surrendering and evaded arrest.
In late 2020, Callaway would finally be located in Suffolk County, New York and was arrested.
During the investigation, Callaway was reportedly found to have bragged on Facebook about moving from his previous life of selling drugs to a new life of committing fraud — even posting a photo of his fraudulent act.
“This defendant callously took advantage of an elderly woman, stealing and selling her home while she was living with relatives. Today’s sentence holds him accountable for this despicable crime and sends a strong message to would-be scammers and deed thieves that we will seek serious penalties for those who victimize Brooklyn homeowners,” said District Attorney Gonzalez.
Before the trial began, the deed to the Bushwick property was returned to the estate of the rightful homeowner, who passed away in 2015. The purchase amount was also returned back to WI Management.