DEFENDANTS PLEAD GUILTY IN SCHEME TO STEAL EAST ELMHURST HOME
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jorge Vasquez Jr. and Andy V. Singh pleaded guilty to grand larceny for filing fraudulent paperwork to claim ownership of an East Elmhurst home. The defendants impersonated a deceased woman and her son to unlawfully access the property’s mortgage information, then sold the house to a shell corporation. The Court ordered the defendants to return the property deed to the rightful heir.
District Attorney Katz said: “These defendants admitted to preying upon a grieving family for selfish gain. They slyly paid off a deceased homeowner’s outstanding mortgage balance and property taxes, then tossed her son’s family mementos into a dumpster to expedite a quick flip of the home for profit. Now they have been ordered to return the renovated house to its rightful owner.”
Vasquez Jr., 40, of Baldwin, and Singh, 34, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Queens Supreme Court before Justice Peter Vallone to charges of grand larceny in the second degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree. Defendant Singh was sentenced to time served with a three-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay back $33,941.57 in restitution. Defendant Vasquez was ordered to appear on April 17 to remit a fine of $5,000. Justice Vallone also vacated the fraudulent deed.
According to the charges, the rightful property owner died in 2019, leaving the victim, her only biological son, as sole heir. In October 2021, the victim noticed an address change confirmation email from his mother’s mortgage loan company that he did not authorize. When the victim contacted the mortgage company, he was informed that the loan balance was paid off. The victim visited the residence and discovered workers doing unauthorized construction work and discarding his personal belongings, including childhood photo albums, into a dumpster.
The victim contacted the District Attorney’s Office, who conducted an investigation.
On November 8, 2021, a fraudulent deed was filed with the New York City Register, claiming the property was sold for $530,000.00 on October 4, 2021 by Jorge Vasquez Jr. “as sole heir” of the deceased property owner, to 23-41 100th Street Corp., for which Andy V. Singh is the sole shareholder and chairman.
In September 2021, defendant Singh posed as the deceased property owner’s son and made numerous phone calls to the mortgage loan holder. He provided the homeowner’s social security number, requested a payoff statement in anticipation of the sale of “his mother’s” property.
In order to sell the home, the defendants submitted several documents to the title company, including a forged death certificate for the deceased property owner and affidavits of heirship confirming the seller Jorge Vasquez, Jr. was the sole heir. This occurred without the knowledge or consent of the deceased homeowner’s son, the rightful heir to the property.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Stein, Chief of the Real Estate Theft Unit, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys William Jorgenson, Bureau Chief of the Housing and Worker Protection Bureau, Christina Hanophy, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.