Thursday, January 26, 2023

Up to 10 years in prison for selling stolen NYC home using fake power of attorney

what to know

  • A Long Island man will spend up to a decade behind bars for burglarizing the home of an 89-year-old woman, Brooklyn prosecutors said Tuesday.
  • Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that Shaward Kellaway, 48, of North Babylon, New York, was found guilty of two counts of second-degree grand larceny, one count of second-degree criminal possession of an instrument of forgery, four counts of burglary. One count of forgery in the second degree and one count of forgery of business records in the first degree on November 18, 2022.
  • Gonzalez cited evidence that Callaway sold the octogenarian victim’s home on Chauncey Street in 2014 after creating and using a fake power of attorney claiming to be his nephew. The property was eventually sold to a real estate management company for $250,000. According to prosecutors, the victim was living with relatives in upstate New York at the time.

NEW YORK — A Long Island man will spend up to a decade behind bars for burglarizing the home of an 89-year-old woman, prosecutors in Brooklyn said Tuesday.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that Shaward Kellaway, 48, of North Babylon, New York, was found guilty of two counts of second-degree grand larceny, one count of second-degree criminal possession of an instrument of forgery, four counts of burglary. One count of forgery in the second degree and one count of forgery of business records in the first degree on November 18, 2022.

He was later sentenced on Tuesday to an indefinite prison term of five to 10 years.

Gonzalez cited evidence that Callaway sold the octogenarian victim’s home on Chauncey Street in 2014 after creating and using a fake power of attorney claiming to be his nephew. The property was eventually sold to a real estate management company for $250,000. According to prosecutors, the victim was living with relatives in upstate New York at the time.

In January 2015, according to the district attorney’s office, the owner discovered the fraud as he had a contract to sell the home for $900,000. The fraud was discovered when the prospective buyer checked the title and found the fake deed in the records. The owner immediately commenced civil litigation to undo the fraud.

Callaway was indicted in November 2017 and retained an attorney who negotiated a surrender, but failed to do so and instead evaded arrest. He was finally arrested in late 2020 in Suffolk County.

“This defendant brutally took advantage of an elderly woman, robbing her and selling her home while she was staying with relatives,” Gonzalez said in a post-sentencing statement. “Today’s sentencing holds him accountable for this despicable crime and sends a strong message to scammers and deed thieves that we will demand the harshest punishment for those who victimized Brooklyn homeowners.”

The district attorney shared tips for homeowners in an effort to prevent another similar scenario. According to prosecutors, the owners must:

  • Make sure the New York City Department of Finance has the correct address to receive property notices. If you are unable to do so, designate a trusted family member or friend to receive the notice.
  • Sign up with the New York City Department of Finance to receive automatic notification of any changes to your deed or property records.
  • Never sign any contract that you do not understand.
  • For more information visit http://brooklynda.org/deedfraud/
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