FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Long Island Man Sentenced to 4 ½ to Nine Years in Prison in Connection with Stealing Nine Homes from Owners by
Illegally Transferring Titles, Filing False Documents
Investigation Began After Canarsie Homeowner Reported His House Stolen
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Nassau County man has been sentenced to 4 ½ to nine years in prison in connection with illegally transferring the titles of seven houses in Brooklyn and two in Queens from their true owners to himself or a corporation – then renting out some of the properties and selling others.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “In Brooklyn, we take real estate scams very seriously. The houses targeted in this fraud are worth millions of dollars. My prosecutors and investigators worked diligently to expose this fraudulent scheme and bring this defendant to justice.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Danny Noble, 49, of Baldwin, New York. Noble pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fourth-degree conspiracy before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on April 27, 2016 and was sentenced today to an indeterminate term of 4 ½ to nine years in prison. His co-defendant, Romelo Grey, 41, of Freeport, New York, pleaded guilty to falsifying business records on August 16, 2016, and was sentenced to 1½ to 3 years in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, between June 29, 2010 and March 31, 2015, the defendants falsely transferred title to seven Brooklyn properties: 71 Carlton Avenue, 104 Vanderbilt Avenue, 45 North Oxford Street and 70 Clermont Avenue, in Fort Greene; 1391 East 95th Street in Canarsie; 357 Jefferson Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant; 729 Essex Street in East New York and two properties in Queens: 94-05 108th Street in Jamaica and 187-05 Liberty Avenue in Hollis.
Five of the properties were transferred from the actual homeowners to Noble, according to the indictment, three were transferred to 69 Adelphi Street, LLC, and one to a third party. The defendants allegedly targeted the properties because the owners did not live in the houses and rarely visited them.
Once the titles were transferred, according to the indictment, the defendants carried out various scams in order to cash in on them. For example, Noble maintained control of 45 North Oxford Street, a recently renovated brownstone in Fort Greene, whose owner lived outside of the United States. Noble rented out two apartments in the brownstone, collecting $1,500 a month in rent for each of them. He also maintained control of the two houses in Queens, renting them out for various amounts.
In another facet of the scheme, concerning 1247 Putnam Avenue in Brooklyn, Noble filed a fraudulent satisfaction of mortgage.
Furthermore, for example, with respect to 71 Carlton Avenue, 104 Vanderbilt Avenue, 70 Clermont Avenue, and 1391 East 95th Street, the defendants transferred the properties’ titles into the names of other, third parties.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the scheme was discovered after Grey and Noble transferred the title to the Canarsie house at 1391 East 95th Street to a third party. Grey visited the house with the buyer to inspect it, and told the tenants living there that they had to move out. The buyer then began renovating the house and those workers caught the eye of an employee of a business across the street, which was actually owned by the true owner of 1391 East 95th Street. That employee called the owner of the property, who called police. Further investigation led to the defendants’ connections to the other properties.
As part of the scheme, Noble, the leader, filed false documents with the New York City Department of Finance, Office of the City Register, which maintains land records and other real property filings in New York City, including records relating to ownership and encumbrances, such as liens and mortgages.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Richard Farrell, Chief of the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit, under the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division.