ALBANY – An Albany County jury found a Watervliet man guilty of stealing a house by transferring its ownership, the Albany County District Attorney’s office said Monday.
Michael O’Brien, 44, was found guilty June 30 of felony grand larceny and felony conspiracy before Judge Stephen Herrick in Albany County Court.
According to prosecutors, between June 6 and July 15, 2014, O’Brien, with the help of two women, transferred ownership of the Saratoga Street, Cohoes, house to the two women from its incapacitated elderly owner.
On June 6, 2014, O’Brien contacted the Cohoes City treasurer posing as the homeowner’s grandson. At the time of their arrest, authorities said workers in the treasurer’s office knew that the victim, a lifelong city resident, has no children or grandchildren and alerted Cohoes police.
The house, which is valued at more than $50,000, is located between two parking lots owned by Mohawk Fine Papers in Cohoes. After transferring the deed to the women, O’Brien tried unsuccessfully to sell the property to Mohawk Fine Papers.
He is to be sentenced Aug. 4, and faces up to 15 years to life in prison if he is found to be a persistent felon, prosecutors said.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Blain-Lewis of the Financial Crimes Unit prosecuted the case