A Butler County grand jury indicted a 40-year-old Dayton man for burglary, forgery and tampering with records after he allegedly tried to steal a house in West Chester Twp.
Angelo L. Taylor went to the Butler County Recorders Office on March 11 and allegedly tried to record a deed for a property on Quail Meadow Lane in the township, land he did not own, according to Chief Deputy Recorder Denise Goll.
“Something wasn’t quite right,” she said.
She said it was at the end of the day, so the office couldn’t finalize the transaction, but officials allowed him to prepay the fee and sent him to the auditor’s office. The auditor must transfer the property before it can be recorded. The county auditor also refused to convey the property after questioning his documentation.
Goll said she found the real property owner. That person said the house was recently bought at a sheriff’s sale and was going to be flipped for another sale. Goll told the owner to call the county prosecutor.
“A little while later he calls me back and he had a subcontractor that went out to that house,” she said. “There was a note on the front door that said the property was under new ownership and there was a phone number and they had changed all the locks.”
Butler County Recorder Danny Crank sent the real owner to the county prosecutor.
A grand jury handed down three third-degree felony counts for burglary and tampering with records and two fifth-degree felony forgery counts on Sept. 11. Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said Taylor faces up to 36 months in prison, if convicted.
“It is a case where the recorders across the country have received these exception circumstances with somebody using the recorders office to file bogus deeds, to obtain possession of property,” Gmoser said. “In some instances they actually get loans against the property or even try to resell the property to unsuspecting buyers.”
Gmoser said the recorder’s office here was able to intercept the fraudulent transaction, otherwise the result would have been different.
“Suddenly, temporarily somebody is going to get a call that their house has been stolen,” Gmoser said. “There’s an old expression you can’t get title from a thief so ultimately that which is done illegally can be undone, but oftentimes with great expense, time, frustration as well as attorney’s fees.”
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