Darrell Beatty, 49, allegedly swiped the house earlier this year and then promptly moved into the three-bedroom Tudor residence with his two sons, Brown said.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Beatty was awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records and scheme to defraud. If convicted, he faces 15 years in prison.
“This is a particularly disturbing case,” Brown said. “This woman’s home — her sanctuary filled with the memories of three generations — was allegedly taken from her with the filing of a phony deed. The defendant is alleged to have stolen the victim’s home with the stroke of a pen.”
Jennifer Merin, who is the home’s true owner, was fighting in court to remove Beatty and his sons from the home.
Merin lives in Manhattan, but grew up in the house with her mother and her mother’s siblings, according to a published report. She inherited the property after her mother died decades ago.
She didn’t rent it out, but maintained it and paid the utilities. A spike in the water bill signaled to Merin that something fishy was going on with the house.
She called cops, who visited the house and were told by Beatty that his family legally resided there. When she went to the residence herself, she realized her possessions and car were missing and the locks were changed.
Beatty said in court papers that he rented the house from someone named Khalid Moore and paid $10,000 in rent, the New York Post reported. A deed transfer filed in city records last year showed that he obtained the house from an “Edith Moore.”
No one by that name has ever owned the house, according to Brown.