6 Blamed in Elaborate Plot to Steal Dead Neighbor's Home

Thief pretended he'd been taking care of woman
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2014 3:36 PM CDT
6 Blamed in Elaborate Plot to Steal Dead Neighbor's Home
A group of six people have been charged with attempting to steal a deceased woman's home.   (Shutterstock)

Six different people were involved in a complicated plot to take ownership of a dead woman's home and car, police say. It started with one Romanoff Quarles, 43, of Philadelphia; he had his eye on the property of his neighbor Dorothy Kennedy, who had died with no heirs in 2010, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kennedy's home and car were legally supposed to go to the state, but Quarles' lawyer, Andrew Kaufman, 56, came up with "a scheme that would allow Quarles to unlawfully exploit the system," police say.

The plot reportedly went like this: Quarles would try to become the estate's administrator by pretending he'd supported Kennedy. That involved noting fake errands he'd run for her on old calendars. Meanwhile, Quarles buried Kennedy, with help from a former funeral home owner as well as chapel owner Antoine Turay. Turay provided Quarles with a bill for $7,000, though the burial had actually cost $1,400; that bill served as documentation as Quarles sought to become the estate's administrator. A real estate broker set up a false sale of Kennedy's home to Quarles, who obtained it in 2012, and an auto businessman helped give Quarles the car title. An anonymous caller finally revealed the story to police, the Inquirer reports. All the men now face charges including theft, conspiracy, and forgery. (More theft stories.)

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