Two Forest Hills men accused of stealing home from owner

By Eric Jankiewicz

Two men who won a Richmond Hill home in a foreclosure auction are charged with illegally forcing a homeowner out of his place and boarding up the doors and windows, the Queens district attorney said.

Semyon Muratov, 34, and Yuriy Munarov, 31, face counts of burglary, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and unlawful eviction, according to the DA’s office. They were scheduled to return to court May 5.

The men, who are both from Queens, made a down payment of $25,000 for a foreclosed house on 107-25 111th Street on Jan. 9. But without closing the deal, the two Forest Hills men are accused of trying to trick the 59-year-old homeowner into leaving his house, the DA said. But after they could not convince him to leave, they returned to the house on Jan. 12 and broke the door down to get in and the homeowner left the house with just a few of his documents., the DA said.

Under the foreclosure auction rules, Muratov would only get ownership of the house after a closing and a transfer of the deed. But even after a closing, he would have to go through an eviction proceeding, before forcing the homeowner out.

“The defendants in this case are accused of taking the law into their own hands and bullying a homeowner into vacating his residence so that they would not have to deal with a housing court eviction proceeding,” DA Richard Brown said..

The homeowner soon returned to the house and to get some more of his belongings but could not get in because he found the windows and doors completely boarded up.

“More and more we are seeing individuals who are dealing with distressed properties unscrupulously taking advantage of the situation to benefit themselves,” Brown said.

— Eric Jankiewicz

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