ESTATE


15 Charged in Philadelphia Home Sales Fraud
2009/02/17, 7:08 pm
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Fifteen people have been charged with fraudulently selling more than 80 Philadelphia row homes. Most of the properties were in the Kensington neighborhood.

The suspects forged and recorded deeds to uninhabited homes, transferred the titles to their own names and then sold the properties to unsuspecting buyers.

The scam was motivated by “breathtaking, bold and unapologetic greed,” District Attorney Lynne Abraham said at a news conference. “What they were buying was, essentially, nothing,”

Abraham said the suspects were able to carry out the fraud because of poor regulation of notaries and state laws that require the city’s deeds recorder to file ownership transfers with little or no verification.

The investigation has been underway since September 2004 when a homeowner first complained that his property had been fraudulently transferred.

Source: Associated Press, Kathy Matheson (02/12/2009)

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