Dr. Daniel Kenigsberg returned to his land in Fairfield, Connecticut, to meet a house he never built. It had been 5 years since he had been around and things looked remarkably different, almost unrecognizable.
But now, a three-storey building, still under construction, stood majestically on the previously wooded property. The house was being constructed by 51 Sky Top Partners LLC, who had documents to prove their ownership of the land. They had purchased the house for a fee of $350,000. Once the house was completed, it would be handed over to a new owner for $1.5 million.
Dr. Kenigsberg couldn’t believe his eyes. The land had been his for over three decades. It was one of his most prized assets and proof of his heartfelt connection to Connecticut, the land of his birth and where he grew up as a child.
He had lived in another house which he later sold off, just next to the lot for many years. This land was the family’s only link and testament to their Connecticut history.
His father had bought the land in 1953 for $5,000 before passing it on to him. He, in turn, had plans to hand over the property to his children. If not for anything else but to preserve his father’s legacy and perpetuate his fondness for The Nutmeg State.
He had been out of town for 5 years until he ran into a childhood friend who mentioned a house under construction on his property. “They’re doing what?” was Kenigsberg’s reaction to his friend’s comment. “I own that and I never sold it,” he added.
He had to come to see for himself. As he approached the area, a towering soon-to-be-sold structure sitting on the land confirmed his fears. The building had been erected with much confidence. Obviously, the developer had been scammed by some fraudster.
Dr. Kenigsberg has sought the intervention of the courts to reclaim his land. While he believes that the developers were also victims of the scam, he is sure that they didn’t do their due diligence in verifying its ownership.
Dr. Kenigsberg’s attorney threw more light on the scam. “It looks like somebody from South Africa reached out to maybe the broker and maybe Attorney Monelli,” he reported.
The transfer title suggests that Dr. Kenigsberg endorsed the sale from his residence in South Africa. However, the doctor had never set foot on the shores of the African nation. Never did he sign off on its sale.
The defendants in Dr. Kenigsberg’s lawsuit are the developer, Sky Top Partners, and their lawyer, Anthony Monelli, under whose guidance they made the unfortunate purchase.
The lawsuit is praying for the court to set aside the deed transfer and authorize the demolition of the structure. Until the court decides, construction on the property will be put on hold.
This incident can serve as a reminder of the delicate nature of property rights and transfer. Also to raise our guard against smooth criminals in the real estate arena who will go to whatever length to perpetrate fraud. Meanwhile, the Fairfield Police are following whatever trail they can find to trace the fraudster involved.