Daily News “Steals” Empire State Building Through Document Fraud
The New York Daily News filled what must have been a slow news day with amusing news of its own: They “stole” ownership of the Empire State Building. In an effort to prove how lax the city registrar’s office is in verifying deeds and property ownership, members of the Daily News team created a batch of fake documents, slapped on a fake notary stamp and filed paperwork. Within 90 minutes, the city transferred the deed of the Empire State Building to the Daily News. (Right, photo of Daily News reporter William Sherman in front of the Empire State Building).
To add insult in injury, the bogus deed included names such as Fay Wray (actress who played King Kong’s girlfriend) and bank robber Willie Sutton.
While the Daily News heist was comical, real estate scams are increasing. We ran a post recently about a real estate scam happening in San Diego, in which a guy was finding abandoned homes — probably due to foreclosure — then he filed official-looking grant deeds with county recorder offices and became the “new owner.”