QUEENS WOMAN CHARGED WITH SCHEME TO STEAL THE ST. ALBANS HOME OF AN ELDERLY VETERAN
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Jasmine Morgan, 32, has been charged with grand larceny, identity theft and other crimes. The defendant allegedly posed as the granddaughter of an elderly veteran to fraudulently transfer a property deed into her name and then collected more than $134,000 when she sold the home in March 2020.
District Attorney Katz said, “This defendant was ultimately caught in a tangled web of her own making – a paper trail of bogus transactions that revealed a complicated con to steal a man’s home. By posing as a grieving granddaughter, the defendant allegedly duped multiple people into believing she was entitled to a $134,000 payday from the sale of a house to which she had no rightful claim. The victim is a 74-year-old veteran who was left with a mess to unravel.”
Morgan, of 179th Street in Jamaica, Queens was arraigned on Tuesday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Karen Gopee on a 15-count criminal complaint. The defendant is charged with grand larceny in the second degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, identity theft in the first degree, falsifying business records in the first degree, scheme to defraud in the first degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the second degree. Judge Gopee ordered the defendant to return to Court on January31, 2022. If convicted, Morgan faces up to 15 years in prison.
According to the charges, around February 6, 2020, the defendant claimed to be the granddaughter of a deceased Queens homeowner and offered to facilitate the sale of his home on 198th Street in St. Albans, Queens. Morgan and an unapprehended other – who posed as the homeowner – agreed to a sale price of $300,000 with a buyer and subsequently entered into a contract. Morgan allegedly accepted a $5,000 down payment and provided identification and a death certificate for the dead grandfather and an uncle.
DA Katz said, on March 6, 2020, the defendant again purported herself to be the heir to the deceased homeowner’s estate when she appeared at a law firm in Queens for the closing with an unapprehended other, who again posed as the homeowner. The deed transfer for the property was confirmed by the lawyer, who gave the defendant a check for just over $134,000.
DA Katz said the defendant allegedly cashed the check she received from the lawyer at a Brooklyn check cashing establishment and received cash.
According to the complaint, the true owner of the home is a 74-year-old veteran who discovered the ruse when he was sued by the person who “bought” the home from Morgan. The victim did not transfer his deed and does not have a granddaughter.
The investigation was conducted by Detective Marcelo Razzo of the NYPD Special Frauds Squad and Assistant District Attorney Christina Hanophy, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Housing and Worker Protection Bureau of the Queens District Attorney’s Office who is also prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney William Jorgenson, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.