NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Several arrests have been made in connection with multiple real estate scams.
Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes announced Wednesday several senior citizens were conned into giving personal information so thieves could walk away with thousands of dollars.
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One of the victims, 81-year-old Ernest Leak, an Air Force veteran and former New York City firefighter, said he responded to an ad with an attractive rate for a reverse mortgage and met with a persistent man identified as 36-yeard-old Sal Loria.
“He told me to give him my Social Security card and my driver’s license,” Leak said. “He wound up taking the paperwork that I gave him, and obtained the mortgage for my house for his own self, and he collected $351,000. I am angry.”
More than a dozen people have now been arrested in seven different real estate fraud cases.
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Loria is being prosecuted for grand larceny as a hate crime for allegedly targeting someone based on their age.
Another defendant is charged with stealing two vacant properties from the estates of their deceased owners.