FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Former New York City Police Officer Sentenced in Connection
With Transferring Title to Bedford-Stuyvesant Property to Herself
Falsely Testified in Grand Jury That She Owned the Property
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a former New York City police officer has been sentenced to six months in jail and five years’ probation for transferring the title from a neglected three-family house in Bedford-Stuyvesant to herself. The defendant filed a deed transferring the property from the deceased owner’s nephew to herself in 2012, only to see her scheme unravel when the nephew was approached by an actual potential buyer in 2014.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant has now been held accountable for this fraudulent real estate scheme. I will continue to protect Brooklyn homeowners whose valuable properties may be targeted by scam artists. I urge property owners to register their homes with ACRIS (Automated City Register Information System) so that they are automatically informed of changes made to documents associated with their property, such as occurred in this case.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Blanche O’Neal, 49, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She was sentenced today to six months in jail and five years’ probation by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. She was convicted of first-degree perjury, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and first-degree offering a false instrument for filing in February following a bench trial before Justice Chun.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on September 12, 2012, the defendant, who was an NYPD officer, executed a deed that stated that she bought the property, 23A Vernon Avenue, from the nephew of the deceased homeowner, Lillian Hudson, who died in 1993. The nephew and several relatives inherited the property, though it sat vacant and neglected for many years.
The defendant, according to trial testimony, falsely indicated in her filings with the New York City Department of Finance, Office of the City Register, that she purchased the property for $10,000 from the nephew and the deed was purportedly signed by him. The Office of the City Register recorded the deed on October 11, 2012.
Furthermore, in connection with a burglary involving the property, the defendant falsely testified before a grand jury on September 29, 2014, that she owned the property.
In 2014, the nephew and the other heirs were approached by a buyer in the form of a business entity known as 23A Vernon LLC. That is when Lillian Hudson’s heirs discovered the 2012 deed that was filed by the defendant.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Frank Dudis and Assistant District Attorney Ellen Koenig of the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Richard Farrell, Unit Chief, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.