An intricate plot to steal property from a deceased woman in South Philadelphia fell through -- now six men are each facing multiple charges.
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Task Force charged six men on Thursday with various offenses, ranging from forgery to theft by deception. The men charged were allegedly trying to steal the estate of Dorothy Kennedy, a recently deceased woman from South Philadelphia.
An attorney, a real estate agent, two funeral home workers and two others face charges.
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"The facts in this case are disturbing and extremely sad” said District Attorney Seth Williams. "It’s hard to believe that these people would steal a dead woman’s house and personal property."
Andrew Kaufman, the lawyer facing charges, used his position to organize the scheme while Vincent Marciano, a real estate agent, put together a “sham sale” of the woman’s home, according to prosecutors.
The Public Corruption Task Force started investigating the scheme in 2013 after receiving an anonymous tip. They uncovered a complex attempt to exploit the woman who had no heirs or will, according to investigators.
The scheme would have taken over the woman’s estate, thus defrauding the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Romanoff Quarles, one of the six men charged, lived around the corner from Kennedy. He decided to acquire her home after her 2010 passing and recruited friends for help, said investigators.
Antoine Turay and Marvin Kimble each face charges of tampering with public records and deceptive or fraudulent business practices for false alleged creation of a funeral bill.
Damion Rivers faces the nine charges for his alleged involvement in trying to take control of Kennedy’s vehicle with the assistance of Quarles.
The deceased woman did not have a will or any surviving heirs. Per Pennsylvania law, her estate should have been directed to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.