A Brooklyn landlord is accused of using the signature of a dead notary public in an attempt to evict tenants, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez’s office announced on Monday.
Abdus Shahid, 64, is facing 28 counts of forgery and other charges for allegedly using Yitzchok Ring’s signature and notary stamp on court documents between March 16, 2015, and Sept. 8, 2016. Ring could not have signed the documents, however, because he died on Oct. 6, 2014, per the district attorney’s office.
The documents Shahid purportedly forged with Ring’s signature were related to a lawsuit between him and the tenants of 455 Tompkins Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Shahid sued five of his tenants in an attempt to evict them, the district attorney’s office said, claiming they damaged his property. The tenants, however, alleged Shahid was trying to evict them as retaliation for filing complaints with 311.
“This defendant attempted to fool the court by using someone else’s identity for his nefarious business plans,” Gonzalez said. “As Brooklyn continues to soar in popularity as a wonderful place to live, I am committed to protecting the rights of its residents.”
An attorney with the Legal Aid Society, which represented the tenants in the lawsuit, discovered the documents with Ring’s signature and notary stamp.
“We’re happy to work with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to hold unscrupulous landlords accountable who harass our clients and flaunt rent-regulation laws,” Legal Aid spokesman Redmond J. Haskins said in an emailed statement on Monday.
In addition to forgery, Shahid is charged with 28 counts of offering a false instrument for filing and 28 counts of making an apparently sworn false statement. Shahid was arraigned on Feb. 23 and released without bail, the district attorney’s office said.