I’m suing my neighbor’s daughter for “taking my $350,000 home for $10” — sparking a bitter ownership dispute
A New York woman has been accused of forging documents to steal the $350,000 home of her mother’s elderly neighbor.
Rosemarie Mika, 78, immediately called police after receiving news that her home was now owned by Aurelia Soogea, 35, who claims the transfer was part of a deal the elderly woman is forgetting.
Prosecutors said Soogea forged Mika’s signature and paid $10 to have the elderly lady’s home deed transferred under her name.
Soogea’s mother is Mika’s neighbor and the accused thief claims she is taking the property as a reward for her work as a helper, local NBC affiliate WNBC reports.
However, the Long Island homeowner claims the two never met.
Soogea was charged with grand larceny and appeared before the judge on Friday, where she pleaded not guilty.
“She rendered services and stayed there from time to time as a caring, loving support,” defense attorney Lawrence Carra told the court.
“I believe there is conflicting evidence that we will show that Soogea did not forge the deed.”
The accused lady’s team claims they recorded evidence proving Mika agreed to the deal.
But Mika’s lawyer countered that the evidence was all made up.
The judge ruled that the two parties should not have any contact and scheduled Soogea’s return to court for Thursday.
There is an ongoing civil case over who owns the house, Carra said.
It comes a few months after the New York Attorney General filed charges against a “deed stealing ring” that allegedly targeted elderly people and stole their homes.
Last December, five members of the suspected organized crime system were charged with forging documents to steal deeds from three homeowners, Letitia James said.
“Nobody should face the nightmare of having their home stolen without warning, knowledge or reason,” James said after announcing the charges, according to ABC News affiliate WABC.
“Credential theft is a merciless crime that targets seniors and often people of color who are wealthy but cash poor and depend on their homes as a stabilizing force for their families and loved ones.”