Woman charged with theft after claiming she received neighbor's house for just $10
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A Long Island woman has been charged with theft, after paying just $10 for her neighbour’s home.
Though Aurelia Soogea insists the property was a ‘gift’, the former homeowner has accused the 35-year-old of stealing her home and forging her signature on the deeds.
With property prices at an all-time high, it’s unsurprising that the women have ended up in court as they fight for control over the accommodation.
Police became involved shortly after Rosemarie Mika received a letter from Nassau County Clerk stating that she no longer owned her home in Lakeview, Long Island - estimated to be worth upwards of $350,000.
The bizarre notification immediately raised suspicions, with the 78-year-old woman contacting the police and lawyers in an attempt to reclaim her property.
It was later found that ownership had been transferred to her neighbor’s daughter, Aurelia Soogea, without Mika’s knowledge.
Shockingly, this had been done for just $10, according to legal documents obtained by NBC.
This came as a shock to her defense attorney, Lawrence Carra, given that there was still an ongoing civil dispute over the owner of the home.
Carra said: "We are vehemently contesting it, we’ve entered a plea of not guilty."
The representative even alleged that Soogea had cared for her elderly neighbour, stating that the property was ‘a gift’ for all her hard work.
Soogea even claims to have recorded the conversation she had with Mika about the transfer and kept visitor stickers from their trip to County Hall where the deeds were signed over.
"She provided services and she stayed there from time to time as a caring loving aide," stated Carra, adding: "I believe there is conflicting evidence we will show that Soogea did not forge the deed."
Meanwhile, Mika’s legal team have claimed that Soogea had never worked for the elderly woman and that they had no relationship prior to the ongoing case.
They also argued that all evidence Soogea had produced was ‘fabricated’.
In light of this, a judge ordered that the neighbors have no contact until they appear back in court on 13 April.
There is also an ongoing civil case into who owns the home, which will be heard separately.