MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A Hickory Hill woman is charged with numerous counts of property theft, forgery, criminal impersonation, identity theft and fraudulently filing Quit Claim Deeds against several Memphians.
Police say Antonia Young was able to fraudulently transfer property to a business she and her husband run.
We asked Daniel Irwin with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South to look at the affidavit of complaint against Antonia Young and he pulled no punches at what he saw.
“It’s something that’s happening more and more in Shelby County and more and more people are realizing it can happen to them,” Irwin said. “This person obviously has a long history of all sorts of different types of fraud. She’s certainly adept at stealing people’s money in various ways.”
Police documents led us to two properties Young is accused of acquiring fraudulently including one on Birthstone Avenue off Holmes Road in South Memphis and another on Lakeview Road in Whitehaven.
Both homes were empty when we stopped by but the affidavit of complaint states in both cases Young was able to file a Quit Claim Deed, have it notarized and transfer the properties to a business she and her husband operated named Preeminate Estates.
“It can be really, really hard to define or to even understand how someone can do this without your signature it can leave a lot of people just dumbfounded that this could even happen. Usually, you don’t find out it’s happened until it’s too late,” Daniel Irwin said.
As the WREG Investigators reported last year, filing a Quit Claim Deed is just a matter of downloading the form, printing it, filling it out, having it notarized and taking it to the Shelby County Register of Deeds office.
But per State Law if a deed looks fraudulent or maybe a signature doesn’t look right, workers can’t ask for an ID or do anything about it.
“If the document is all the State’s requirements, then we have no other choice but to file the deed or the instrument within our office,” said Shelandra Ford, Shelby County Register of Deeds.
The victim at the Birthstone Avenue address was able to have her name placed back on her property documents. Antonia Young is being held on a $22,500 bond.
Her next court appearance is on August 25.
You can go to the Register of Deeds website for ways to avoid becoming a victim.