A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge on Wednesday sentenced an East New York, Brooklyn, man to five months in jail and five years’ probation for stealing and attempting to sell the home of his 85-year-old neighbor, a diabetic man for whom the defendant was a part-time caretaker.
Justice Danny Chun imposed the sentence on Jordan Horsford, 29, who pleaded guilty to third-degree grand larceny in June and consented to an order nullifying the fraudulent recorded deed.
“With today’s sentencing, this defendant is being held accountable for preying on his elderly neighbor and abusing his trust,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “I urge seniors and their family members to protect their homes, especially as property values continue to rise in Brooklyn, by taking care not to sign any documents pertaining to their properties without the advice of a reputable attorney.
“I remain committed to prosecuting deed thefts like this and assisting all homeowners whenever possible,” he added.
According to the investigation, in August 2016, Horsford — who was known to do odd jobs in the neighborhood — began helping the victim as needed, including carrying his wheelchair up steps and helping him get in and out of vehicles. He was paid for each task by the victim’s family, Gonzalez said.
In April 2017, he said the victim’s family began paying Horsford $400 a week to accept Meals on Wheels deliveries and set them out for the victim, “to make sure he took his medicine and to check in on him at night.”
Between June 19, 2017, and Nov. 1, 2017, Gonzalez said Horsford convinced the victim to sign away the deed to his Barbey Street home in East New York.
“The defendant told the victim he risked losing his home if he did not sign a document, and had the document notarized by a notary,” Gonzalez said. “The defendant then realized he needed another document notarized, but the notary refused. So, the defendant cut and pasted her original signature. He then recorded the deed, which had been signed over to him.”
He said Horsford attempted to sell the house almost immediately after securing the deed, “but a title company suspected foul play and refused to insure the home.”
Gonzalez said the would-be purchaser then reached out to the 85-year-old victim’s family.
At around the same time, the district attorney said the victim’s daughter, while going through her father’s mail, found a letter from the Department of Finance (DOF) notifying them about documents filed relating to the property.
The daughter pursued the matter with the DOF, and the case was ultimately referred to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for further investigation and prosecution, Gonzalez said.