Monday, September 5, 2011

Accused Home Title-Snatcher Faces Charges Of Forgery, Obtaining Property By False Pretenses, Breaking & Entering For Hijacking Vacant F'closed Mansion

In Raleigh, North Carolina, the News Observer reports:

  • Police have arrested and charged a Tarboro man with squatting for at least seven months in a North Raleigh home valued at nearly $2 million.

  • The 7,664-square-foot home in Wakefield Plantation has six bedrooms, six full bathrooms, theater and game rooms, a wine cellar, vaulted ceilings and an elevator. There is also a swimming pool and a Jacuzzi whirlpool bath.

  • Thomas Everette Jr., 31, apparently enjoyed the [...] luxury home so much that he created a fake company with forged documents to transfer the property to himself at no cost, according to police reports.

  • But the scam fell apart when a concerned neighbor did some investigating and called police.


  • Everette is charged with one felony count each of breaking and entering, obtaining property by false pretenses and forgery of deeds or wills, according to arrest warrants filed at the Wake County Magistrate's Office.

  • His arrest came about two weeks after state Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that a group of Triangle residents had filed bogus paperwork at the county's Register of Deeds office to try to claim ownership of six foreclosed homes in Wake County.(1)

  • Anne Redd, a spokeswoman with the Wake County Register of Deeds, said she was contacted by the state Attorney General's Office before Everette's arrest. "They told me they were fixing to get him because he had been living there since December," she said.

  • The neighbor, who called the 911 operator last week, said he had called earlier in February about people going into the house because he thought it was a burglary. Everette avoided arrest, however, by showing paperwork that claimed he was trustee of the property to the police officer who responded, the neighbor said.

  • The house is actually owned by the New York Bank of Mellon and Bank of America after it went into foreclosure last year, according to Wake County real estate records.


  • Investigators say Everette set up a fictitious company, International Fidelity Trust, and filed it with the Secretary of State's Office on April 20. He then created a false deed that listed International Fidelity Trust as the owner of the Victoria Park Lane house, state records show.

  • Next, he filed paperwork giving the home's "occupants" 90 days to satisfy all financial obligations or waive their right to the home. The home was vacant, so there was no one to respond to the bogus claim to the home, county records show.

  • Everette filed another document with the Register of Deeds on July 13, showing that International Fidelity Trust had transferred the home to him at no cost, court records show. On that document, police say Everette forged signatures of a Bank of America official and a South Carolina notary public to gain control of the $1,941,949 property for which he never paid a dime.


  • Everette apparently is not a novice at running scams. He has a 28-page record of previous charges that include breaking and entering, trespassing, violation of a domestic violence order, impersonating a bail bondsman, identity theft, larceny, resisting arrest, obtaining property by false pretense and insurance fraud, state records show. He is being held at the Wake County jail, his bail set at $85,000, a jail spokeswoman said Tuesday.

For the story, see Man accused of being a squatter in N. Raleigh.

(1) See Criminal, Civil Charges Brought In Vacant Home Hijacking Scam; NC AG: Phony Deeds, Bogus Liens "Filled With Gibberish ... A Fraud On The Whole System".

No comments: