Laurelton man accused of stealing house from 70-year-old woman

By Philip Newman

A Queens man has been charged with stealing the home of an elderly woman “with the stroke of a pen” by illegally transferring the deed on the house and moving into it, the Queens district attorney said.

“This is a particularly disturbing case,” DA Richard 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,” Brown said. “The defendant is alleged to have stolen the victim’s home with the stroke of a pen. The defendant must face the consequences for his alleged acts.”

The defendant, Darrell Beatty, 49, of Laurelton was arrested Oct.15 on his way to Housing Court, where he was fighting eviction proceedings initiated by the victim.

Beatty is scheduled to appear in Queens Criminal Court Oct. 28 on charges of grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal possession of a forged instrument, falsifying business records and scheme to defraud, the DA said.

Conviction could bring up to 15 years in prison.

The criminal complaint said Beatty filed a deed transfer with the city on or about March 6, 2014. The previous owner’s name was listed as Edith Moore, but authorities said that at no time has anyone by that name owned the property. The DA’s office said the actual owner is Jennifer Merin, whose family bought the home in 1930. The home owner currently lives in Manhattan and did not realize anything was amiss until she got an increased water bll in May 2014.

The complaint said Merin, 70, went to the house on 141st Avenue in Laurelton and noticed the lock on the front door had been changed and the lock on the garage appeared broken.

Merin said the car she had stored in the garage was missing and in its place were furnishings and other possessions from the house, many damaged, according to the court papers.

Merin went to National Grid in June 2014 and requested power service. At that time, the defendant allegedly produced identification with the 141st Avenue address listed as well as a notarized deed indicating that in March 2013 he had bought the property from someone named Edith Moore.