Mother and son squatters charged in fraud scheme after posing as legal owners of Queens home: DA
A mother and son posed as owners of a Queens home and moved in, leaving legal tenants unable to use the kitchen and bathrooms, officials said Friday.
Tanya M. Howard and her son Trevon Howard were charged with a plot of allegedly targeting a house on Beach 15th St. near New Haven Avenue in Far Rockaway that was once owned by another woman named Tanya L. Howard belonged to.
The current owners bought the property from Tanya L. Howard in 2019, the Queens prosecutor said.
On Sept. 2, Tanya M. Howard took advantage of the similarity of names and applied for a new title on both her and her son's behalf with the Department of Finance Business Center in Queens, officials said.
Howard and her son then allegedly broke into the two-story brick home, confiscated their belongings, and convinced tenants on the first floor that they were the rightful owners of the property.
The couple took over several rooms in the house and banned tenants, one of whom was elderly and disabled, from using the kitchen, bathroom and other rooms, officials said.
On September 18, the real owners of the house discovered that the Howards were crouching in the house, claiming to be the owners. The mother and son were quickly arrested.
Tanya M. and Trevon Howard brazenly entered the home a second time with a teenager just 11 days later and were arrested again.
Tanya M. Howard and her son "became persistent squatters who repeatedly entered a house that did not belong to them," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement.
The Howards have been charged with burglary, aggravated theft, offering a fake file instrument, identity theft and criminal trespassing.
If convicted, they face up to 15 years in prison, officials said.
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