Queens squatter who tried to prove address with Shake Shack receipt indicted for burglary, identity theft: DA

A squatter who tried to use a Shake Shack receipt to prove authorized rights to a Queens home was indicted on prices together with housebreaking and identity theft, prosecutors mentioned Monday.

Lance White-Hunt, 24, of 18th Street in Brooklyn, went as far as to sue the precise owners — Denis Kurlyand and Juliya Fulman — again in March to cement his authorized proper to live within the $930,000 house on Lakewood Avenue.

But his plan backfired and he has now been hit with an 18-count indictment that might put him behind bars for 15 years if he’s convicted, in accordance to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Denis Kurlyand and Juliya Fulmanof
Denis Kurlyand and Juliya Fulman, the house owners of the duplex on Lakewood Avenue in Jamaica, Queens have been being sued by squatters. @julie_julz4/Instagram
Home on Lakewood Avenue in Jamaica Queens.
The Lakewood Avenue duplex is on the heart of an uncommon lawsuit the place two alleged squatters are suing the owners after they have been escorted off the property final month. Gregory P. Mango

“You cannot claim rights to a home that you have entered illegally,” DA Melinda Katz mentioned in a press release. “My office will not allow individuals to capitalize on the confusion surrounding squatters’ rights for their own personal gain.

“We will bring criminal charges and secure indictments not only for the unlawful occupancy, but also for any forged documents used in the commission of the crime,“ she continued. “The law does not permit illegal residency, and we will continue to prosecute such cases in Queens.”

White-Hunt is dealing with prices of second-degree housebreaking, two counts of second-degree legal possession of a solid instrument, 5 counts of first-degree identity theft, tried grand larceny and different crimes, the DA’s workplace mentioned.

He’s scheduled to return to Queens Supreme Court on June 11.

Screenshot of Shake Shack receipt
A Shake Shack supply receipt was introduced in courtroom by a lawyer representing the 2 males suing a Queens couple claiming they have been “unlawfully locked out” of the residence.

White-Hunt and his confederate, Rondie L. Francis, made headlines in early April after they launched their doubtful lawsuit, which a decide has since dismissed.

As a part of the go well with, the pair submitted numerous items of proof — together with an software approval letter, a rental lease, mail addressed to them and the notorious Uber Eats receipt for $25.27 that purportedly confirmed that they had meals delivered to the home months earlier than.

Lance Hunt
Francis and Hunt declare they’ve a lease and have paid lease on the home and have been illegally locked out.

What you want to learn about squatters in New York:

What are squatter’s rights in New York?

Squatters in New York state can declare a authorized proper to stay on a property with out the proprietor’s permission after 10 years of dwelling there. However, in New York City, an individual solely wants to be on the property for 30 days to declare squatter’s rights.

Why is it so arduous to do away with a squatter?

Squatters are allowed a variety of rights as soon as they’ve established authorized occupancy, making it tough to evict them.

How does somebody change into a squatter?

Some of the situations wherein an individual turns into a squatter embody: a tenant refusing to pay lease, a relative of a former proprietor refusing to go away the property or perhaps a stranger who entered the property and by no means left.

According to Manhattan-based law firm Nadel & Ciarlo, squatters should have an affordable foundation for claiming the property belongs to them and should deal with the house as in the event that they have been an proprietor — comparable to doing yard work or making repairs.

How can a property proprietor do away with a squatter?

A property proprietor should first ship a 10-day eviction discover after which file a courtroom criticism if the order is ignored. If accepted by a decide, the proprietor can get a summons and have a sheriff evict the squatter.

Why does the legislation present squatters with rights?

The legislation was designed to assist stop long-term tenants from getting evicted. New York City’s legislation was partially made in response to vacant and deserted buildings that have been changing into a blight on the town.

How can property house owners shield themselves from squatters?

Owners ought to keep away from retaining any properties vacant for an prolonged time frame. They must also be certain that the constructing is safe, has satisfactory lighting and has surveillance cameras put in.

If a squatter does seem, house owners ought to notify the police rapidly earlier than squatter’s rights are established.

The paperwork have been meant to set up their move-in date, since New York City legislation declares squatters should solely occupy a property for 30 days earlier than they’re eligible for authorized protections that make it tough to evict them.

The pair wished the courtroom to make Kurlyand and Furman give them a front-door key or give them permission to change the locks.

But the precise house owners advised The Post that the paperwork have been all pretend.

Photo included in court documents regarding squatters Lance Hunt Jr. and Rondie L. Francis' lawsuit
Court paperwork revealed the within of the house.

“Everything they’re presenting is fraudulent,” Kurlyand mentioned, with Fulman additional claiming that the paperwork are “clearly photoshopped.”

The DA mentioned in her assertion that the proprietor’s actual property dealer made common journeys to the property after placing the home up for lease in February 2024.

But a couple of weeks later, the dealer observed somebody had modified the locks — and he or she noticed White-Hunt inside, in accordance to the DA’s workplace.

Photo included in court documents regarding squatters Lance Hunt Jr. and Rondie L. Francis' lawsuit
The squatters need a courtroom to pressure the house owners to give them a key to the entrance door, or grant them permission to change the locks.

She referred to as the police, and White-Hunt advised officers that he’d been dwelling there since January.

As proof, he handed them a rental lease signed by the dealer — who took one look and mentioned she’d by no means seen the doc and that the signature was pretend, in accordance to prosecutors.

Later, White-Hunt handed cops telephone and electrical payments as proof of residence. But the telephone and electrical corporations confirmed they have been additionally pretend, the assertion mentioned.

White-Hunt sued the home-owner’s LLC and the dealer, however the courtroom later decided the lease he handed over was totally different from the one he handed cops.

The District Attorney’s Detective Bureau arrested him on May 13.

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