Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown today announced that an international businessman who resides in Manhattan has been sentenced to three to nine years in state prison for having used a forged power of attorney to unlawfully obtain a mortgage on his mother-in-law’s condominium in the Little Neck section of Queens and steal more than $300,000.
The condominium had been free and clear of any mortgages prior to the theft.
District Attorney Brown said, “The victim had accepted the defendant as family and, in turn, he
thanked her by draining the equity from her condo, stripping her of all financial security. In seeking justice in this case, it was important that the defendant not only pay for his crime but take steps to repay his mother in-law the monies he had stolen.”
The fraudster is founder and president of Hydra Buildings with offices in Manhattan and extensive business dealings in London and Hong Kong, pleaded guilty on December 16, 2008, to second-degree grand larceny before Queens Supreme Court Justice Pauline Mullings who imposed yesterday’s indeterminate sentence of three to nine years in prison.
As part of his sentence, he signed a confession of judgment admitting that he owed a debt,
including late charges, totaling $444,892 – payable to Chase Home Finance and his mother-in-law. A confession of judgment authorizes the victims to enter judgment against the defendant for the owed amount. The amount represents Liao’s civil liability to the two parties in connection with his illegal activities.
District Attorney Brown said that, in pleading guilty, he admitted that, without consent, had
taken out a mortgage in his mother-in-law’s name, on her condominium and had the proceeds deposited into an account where he withdrew the money via transfers to Hydra Buildings and payments to several credit card companies – such as American Express, Discover, Citibank, Capital One and Chase Bank – for accounts held by Liao or his company, Hydra Buildings.
An investigation by the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau determined that the address
on the victims Washington Mutual account had been changed from her Queens residence to a post office box address belonging to Hydra Buildings.
We should praise the work done by the members that investigated this case by Detective Oniel Miller of the NYPD’s Queens District Attorney’s Squad under the supervision of Sergeant Frank Horvath and the overall supervision of Captain John M. Zanfardino. Assistant District Attorney Allison P. Wright, of the District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau, prosecuted the case under the supervision of Gregory Pavlides, Bureau Chief, and Christina Hanophy, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Peter Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney Linda Cantoni of the Investigations Division.
We must be vigilant against fraud, recognizing its signs and taking proactive, definite, and realistic steps to not only prevent it but also punish it.
It starts with me.
It starts with you.
It starts with us…
You are all encouraged to report any suspected mortgage fraud activity to authorities, www.PreventLoanScams.org
Michael S. Richardson
Director/Mortgage Fraud Services
Author of "An American Epidemic, Mortgage Fraud a Serious Business"
Preventing Mortgage Fraud One Transaction at a Time!