Man who stole two Brooklyn buildings from a dead woman gets up to 36 years in prison

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From left: District Attorney Charles Hynes, 243 East 54th Street and 5501 Church Avenue (building photos source: PropertyShark)

A Brooklyn construction company owner who stole two East Flatbush properties from a dead woman has been sentenced to 12 to 36 years in prison, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. After the buildings’ owner died, George Marks, 43, forged deeds for them, for a combined $20, from her estate. The buildings, at 243 East 54th Street and 5501 Church Avenue, were then valued at more than $1 million together. Marks was convicted July 20 of three counts of grand larceny and six counts of falsifying business records.

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Marks evicted a long-time commercial tenant at 5501 Church Avenue and entered into a lease with a new tenant. He collected rents from residential tenants in both buildings, according to the DA’s office. In December 2006, he attempted to Sell The 54th Street building to a married couple, but when they backed out of the deal because of problems with the title, he refused to return their $10,000 deposit. Also that month, he sold the building to a straw buyer, pocketing more than $300,000 in ill-gotten proceeds, while maintaining control of the title. TRD