Enrique Castillo, aka Enrique Fernandez, 52, Brooklyn, New York, was indicted on charges of attempted grand larceny, offering a false instrument for filing, and criminal possession of a forged instrument, in connection with forging a deed and other documents in an attempt to steal a Harlem, New York, brownstone.
The investigation leading to the indictment revealed that on June 6, 2007, Castillo filed a deed with the New York City Department of Finance, Office of the City Register that falsely stated that Carolyn Todd, who owned a brownstone at 250 West 139th Street, Harlem, New York, had conveyed the property to him in 2004 for zero consideration. The bogus deed contained the forged signature of Ms. Todd and the forged signature and stamp of a notary. Castillo filed additional fraudulent documents with the Office of the City Register in March and May of 2008 to further his scheme. On March 19, 2008, Castillo filed a mortgage, falsely stating that the brownstone had been used as collateral in a loan from a construction and development company. On May 12, 2008 he filed a “Revocation of Power of Attorney, “purportedly executed by Ms. Todd in Brooklyn in February 2005 revoking the Power of Attorney she had given to her cousin, James Bryant, and granting Power of Attorney to Enrique Fernandez, an alias used by the defendant. In fact, Ms. Todd was in hospice care in Ohio at the time this document was supposedly executed in Brooklyn. Like the bogus deed, the revocation contained the forged signature of a notary.
Ms. Todd, who died at age 57 in March 2005, was the lifelong owner of the Harlem brownstone. In January 2005, her health failing, Ms. Todd gave power of attorney to Mr. Bryant, who was then caring for her at his home in Ohio. A short time later, she conveyed the brownstone to him and his wife Debbie as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Mr. Bryant subsequently filed the deed conveying the property to him with the City Register.
The investigation began when Mr. Bryant contacted the District Attorney’s Office in June 2008 after learning of the false mortgage and “Revocation of Power of Attorney.” When he was arrested in December 2008, Castillo was in possession of a forged social security identification card. Castillo was indicted on one count of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and one count of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, both class D felonies which are punishable by up to 2Ã¢â€¦â€œ to 7 years in prison, and three counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony which is punishable by up to 1Ã¢â€¦â€œ to 4 years in prison.
The investigation is being handled by Assistant District Attorney Gary Snitow, who is assigned to the Special Prosecutions Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Thomas Wornom and Deputy Bureau Chief Joan Delaney. Detective Anthony Pasquariello of the District Attorney’s Office Squad assisted in the investigation.