Six individuals and one corporation were indicted on numerous charges related to a real estate fraud scheme that exploited vulnerable property owners.
In a shocking case of property deed fraud, three residential properties, two in New Rochelle and one in Yonkers, collectively valued at almost $2.5 million, became targets of the indicted defendants. The victims, facing bankruptcy or foreclosure, believed they were getting help from real estate professionals. Little did they know that they were being deceived.
One of the properties, already in bankruptcy proceedings, was acquired through a short sale. Two of the defendants proceeded to move in and make it their primary residence. The other two properties saw their owners unknowingly sign their deeds over to the defendants; assuming that they were only receiving mortgage assistance.
The defendants secured short-term “fix and flip” loans worth $1.5 million based on forged financial statements and false tax documents on these properties. Eventually, the defendants defaulted on these mortgages and even managed to secure a $500,000 COVID relief small business loan.
As a consequence of this elaborate scheme, the unsuspecting homeowners found themselves on the brink of eviction or forcibly pushed out of their homes.
Deed theft schemes exploit the most vulnerable and can have lasting housing and financial impacts to families. My office will seek to hold the defendants accountable for allegedly stealing titles to victims’ homes while pretending to help themMimi Rocah – Westchester District Attorney
The investigation was launched over two years ago when a victim reported the crime to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance provided assistance during the investigation. The individuals indicted in the case are identified as:
- Marcia Campbell, a licensed real estate broker from New Rochelle
- Fred Campbell, a licensed real estate salesperson from New Rochelle
- Anthony Chilliest, a licensed attorney from New York City
- Gerald Smith from Elmsford
- Wayne Green from Lynbrook
- Frank Palmer from the Bronx
- Campal Corp. from the Bronx
Assistant District Attorney Cooper Gorrie from the Trials and Investigations Division prosecuting the litany of counts like grand larceny, falsifying business records, conspiracy, and tax fraud. The case is before Judge George Fufidio in Westchester County Court and bail has been set for the defendants.