Long Island Squatters Forge Lease Documents In Court

In a brazen display of audacious fraud, Denton Gayle and Margaret Grover — who drive around town in a luxury Porsche — are accused of committing fraud while squatting in a nearly $900,000 home in Long Island, New York’s New Hyde Park. The couple presented a lease to Nassau Housing Court, allegedly signed by Edward Iacono, a homeowner deceased since 2016, claiming rights to reside in a property long vacated and declared “unlivable” by building inspectors.

This narrative began when Gayle and Grover told Judge Christopher J. Coschignano they had entered into a rental agreement for the property at 39 Brussel Dr., asserting a monthly rent of $1,500. They furnished a two-year lease, purportedly signed by Iacono. However, the truth unraveled as Edward Iacono, Sr. had passed away years prior, leaving the property in foreclosure and untouched for nearly a decade.

The judge has so far allowed the couple, along with their child and pit bull, to remain in the dilapidated structure. That initial decision was based on the bogus lease document, however, and a new hearing has been set to ask the court to reconsider.

The local community sought intervention from the local government, with nearly 50 neighbors appearing at a town meeting to express their frustration. Unfortunately for them, they did not get any help from local officials. The finding of the Town of North Hempstead refused to take a position, stating: “The matter rests squarely between the Iacono estate, the bank, and the squatters.”

Meanwhile, the couple’s attorney, William Igbokwe, told the court: “They’re not squatters. My clients did not commit or perpetrate any fraud by creating any forged rent-to-lease agreement. My clients leased a home from an individual who they understood to be Edward Iacono.” The lawyer went on to claim that the landlord refused to “come forward to clear up matters” and insisted that his clients have “never bothered anyone.”

However, one neighbor said, “There’s no reasoning with these people. They cause a lot of chaos, they’re disrespectful to neighbors and not concerned about safety for whoever’s around.” Some neighbors have said they have implemented increased security measures, including purchasing firearms, as a result of the couple’s intimidating conduct and a surge in local break-ins.

As the next hearing in the case is set before the court this week, this situation underscores a growing concern over property rights and the effectiveness of the legal system in protecting them from thieves and fraudsters. 

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