A family of scammers have been charged in a series of plots, including stealing a house from a dead man’s estate, stealing the identities of 20 children and cashing in COVID relief funds they weren’t entitled to, Queens prosecutors allege .
Stephanie Bailey, 50, daughter Chianti Bailey, 31, and sister Latonya Bailey Dostaly, 45, have been cheating for over a decade, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars and living in a dead man’s home, Queens prosecutors allege.
In 2014, Stephanie moved with her family into the home of the late Port Authority accountant Russell Butler in Laurelton, Queens, before Chianti filed a forged will for Butler, claiming he was his heir, prosecutors claim.
As a result, Chianti obtained title to Butler’s home in 2020, which she then mortgaged for $200,000, officials claim.
Chianti also forged documents to collect $100,000 in monies owed to Butler’s estate, the prosecutors’ office alleges.
In another scam, the mother pocketed $90,000 in Section 8 housing vouchers by applying for the state subsidy in 2014, using a fake lease and landlord for the Laurelton home they claim was seized the prosecutors.
The three also carried out a tax return fraud in which they stole the identities of more than 30 people – including 20 children -, filed tax returns on their behalf and collected more than $38,000 from New York state, prosecutors allege.
Bailey Dostaly used her position at New York City’s Human Resources Department to access applicant files where the children’s identities were stolen to claim them as dependents and then collect Covid exoneration, prosecutors claim.
The trio also attempted to steal $200,000 – and managed to snatch $123,000 – in bogus unemployment claims on behalf of nine people, prosecutors allege.
“As claimed, these defendants used virtually every trick in the book to carry out a series of illegal scams over more than a decade — including taking control of the $700,000+ home of a longtime Laurelton resident who died in 2010,” DA Melinda Katz said in a statement.
“They stole people’s identities — including the identities of at least 20 children — to use in a large-scale tax fraud scheme, ripped off Section 8 and COVID relief funds, and filed $200,000 worth of false unemployment insurance claims,” it said Cat. “These defendants will now be held accountable for their single-family crimes.”
They are charged with grand theft, forgery, perjury, identity theft, government fraud and official misconduct.
Stephanie and Bailey Dostaly have been arraigned in Queens Criminal Court and face up to 52 years in prison if convicted. Her attorneys did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chianti remains at large. Her attorney was not immediately known.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/04/nyc-family-trio-charged-in-stealing-700k-house-from-dead-man/ The New York family trio have been charged with stealing a $700,000 home from a dead man