The Real Deal New York

Landlord indicted for alleged deed transfer fraud

DA Vance accuses Kojo Global's John Kojo Zi of forged filings for UWS, Wash. Heights buildings

June 18, 2015 03:15PM
By Mark Maurer

Kojo Global

From left: Cyrus Vance, John Kojo Zi and 335 West 84th Street (right) on the Upper West Side

Landlord John Kojo Zi was indicted Wednesday for allegedly stealing the titles of five Manhattan rental buildings through fraudulent deed transfers, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced.

According to documents filed in New York State Supreme Court, Zi, who runs Financial District-based Kojo Global, obtained titles to four Upper West Side properties and one Hamilton Heights building by filing forged deed transfers with the New York City Register’s Office. The low-rise properties include 44 West 73rd Street, 335 West 84th Street, 339 West 84th Street and 468 West 145th Street.

In a statement, Vance claims Zi defrauded three property owners, “stealing five buildings out from under them.”

“We will aggressively prosecute those who would manipulate official filings for their own profit, as crimes like these become easier and easier in the digital age,” Vance said.

Zi was charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree; grand larceny in the first and second degrees; and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.

Solomon Zabrowsky, a lawyer representing Zi, declined to comment.