TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled his progressive agenda during his sixth annual address yesterday. But, was his goal to attract a national audience for a run at presidency in 2020? Forced foreclosures, deed fraud, and the city’s third party transfer program are being blamed for scamming hundreds of New Yorkers out of their homes. We have an investigation into what’s happening and why. Tonight we dive into “Three Identical Strangers,” the story of triplets, separated at birth as a part of an odd experiment with dire consequences.

Aired on January 11, 2019. 

TRANSCRIPT

TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS, deBLASIO UNVEILED HIS PROGRESSIVE AGENDA DURING THE ANNUAL STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS.

SPEAKING TO NEW YORKERS BUT WITH HIS EYE ON A 2020 RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE WAS HIS GOAL TO ATTRACT ATTENTION FROM A NATIONAL AUDIENCE?

> FORCED FORECLOSURINGSI, DEE FRAUD ON THE CITY' THIRD PARTY TRANSFER PROGRAM.

HUNDREDS SCAMMED OUT OF HOMES.

IN A MOMENT AN INVESTIGATION INTO WHAT'S HAPPENING AND WHY.

> AND THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, IT'S THE SHOCKING AND TRAGIC STORY OF TRIPLETS SEPARATED AT BIRTH AS PART OF A BIZARRE EXPERIMENT THAT ENDED WITH DIRE CONSEQUENCES.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS METROFOCUS STARTS RIGHT NOW.

ANNOUNCER: THIS IS METROFOCUS WITH RAFAEL P. RAMON, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

METROFOCUS IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ ROSALIND P. WALTER BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR METROFOCUS WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

> ONCE AGAIN, WE'RE THE SAFEST BIG CITY IN AMERICA.

THE ERA OF MASS INCARCERATION DID NOT BEGIN IN NEW YORK CITY, BUT IT WILL END IN NEW YORK CITY.

AND WE ARE GETTING CLOSER EVERY SINGLE DAY TO THAT GREAT DAY WHEN WE WILL CLOSE RIKERS ISLAND FOR GOOD.

NEW YORK CITY HOUSING AUTHORITY HAS A PLAN TO BRING BRAND-NEW EVERYTHING TO 175,000 NYCHA RESIDENTS.

FROM NEW ROOFS TO KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS.

WE HAVE DUNLD THE NUMBER OF CERTIFIED MINORITY AND WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES AND AWARDED THEM MORE THAN $10 BILLION IN CITY CONTRACTS.

GOOD EVENING AND WELL TO METROFOCUS I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

MAYOR GLASS O DELIVERING HIS SIXTH STATE OF AT THE TO A CROWD ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE.

AFTER MAKING BOLD MOVES REGARDING HEALTH CARE FOR ALL NEW YORKERS APPEAR PAID TIME OFF FOR WORKERS THIS WEEK THE MAYOR MADE HIS CASE FOR NEW YORK TO A BELLWETHER CITY.

WAS THE MESSAGE TO A NATIONAL AUDIENCE WITH A LOOK TO THE RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE?

AND WITH HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS HOW BIG ARE THE CHALLENGES HE FACES?

JOINING ME TO DISCUSS IS THE EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF GAGT OM GAZETTE.

BENITZ GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK ON METROFOCUS.

MY PLEASURE.

WHAT WAS IT THAT STUCK OUT TO YOU?

A LOT OF PEOPLE HEARD THIS SPEECH AND THOUGHT ARE YOU TALKING TO US OR THE COUNTRY.

AFTER A SOMEWHAT SLEEPY LAST YEAR AND A HALF TWO YEARS EVEN, ALSO INCLUDING CONTROVERSY OVER THINGS AROUND NYCHA, FOR EXAMPLE, THE MAYOR SEEMS TO HAVE WOKEN UP A BIT HERE EARLY IN 2019 AND PUT A LOT OF NEW PROPOSALS ON THE TABLE.

IN SPEECH CERTAINLY FIT THE THEMES OF FIGHTING INEQUALITY AND MAKING THE CITY THE FAIREST BIG CITY IN THE COUNTRY HE TALKS ABOUT.

ALTHOUGH HARD TO GAUGE SOMETIMES.

BUT IT WAS A RETURN TO WHERE HE STARTED AND SOMETHING INTERESTING AFTER A COUPLE OF YEARS WHERE HE HASN'T PUT A LOT NEW ON THE TABLE.

THERE ARE SOME NEW PROPOSALS HERE.

WE DEFINITELY AS I MENTIONED IN THE INTROWE SAW THINGS ROLL OUT EARLIER.

WHAT WAS IT THAT STUCK OU TOUT AS THE PROPOSAL HE PUT FORWARD.

AS YOU SAID HE REITERATED THE CALL TO EXPAND HEALTH CARE COVERAGE TO EVERY NEW YORKER WHO DOESN'T HAVE IT AND ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO USE THE CITY HOSPITALS MORE AND THE CITY HEALTH INSURANCE PROBLEM, METRO PLUS, AND ALSO THIS PLAN PUSHED TO MANDATE PAID VACATION DAYS WHICH HAS BEEN A BILL THAT'S BEEN SITTING AROUND THE CITY COUNCIL A FEW YEARS AND HE DECIDED NOW TO BACK IT.

OERP THAT HE TALKED ABOUT MORE PROTECTIONS FOR WORKERS, ESPECIALLY FREELANCERS.

HE TALKED ABOUT TENANT PROTECTIONS TO PREVENT EVICTIONS EVEN MORE.

I WAS GOING TO SAY WE SAW HIM SIGN THE BILL.

EXACTLY, AN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO CREATE A NEW OFFICE IN THE MAYOR'S OFFICE.

THEN HE TALKED ABOUT EXPANSION OF 3 K, FERRY, AND NEW MEASURES TO INCREASE BUS SPEEDS.

THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS AFFECTING SO MANY PEOPLE'S DAILY LIVES, THE MAYOR HAS REALLY NOT DONE ENOUGH ON CLEARLY OVER THE TENURE AND SEEMS TO TAKE AN INCREASED INTEREST IN BUSES.

THOSE ARE A FEW OF THE HIGHLIGHTS.

BUT HE WENT THROUGH A LOT OF TOPICS.

HE DID TP TOWARDS THE END OF THE SPEECH HE FOCUSED ON TOPICS HE WILL TAKE NORTH TO ALBANY.

HE OUTLINED US PIECES OF THE ALBANY AGENDA.

WE KNOW EVERY YEAR AT THE GIPG OF THE YEAR THE MAYOR GOES AND TESTIFIES BEFORE THE LEGISLATURE AND OUTLINES WHAT HE WANTS TO SEE FROM ALBANY AND THEIR SESSION.

ESPECIALLY WITH AN EYE ON THE BUDGET.

HE WILL BE DOING THAT.

BUT HE GAVE US A PREVIEW.

ONE OF THE KEY THINGS HE TALKED ABOUT WAS WANTING THE RIGHT REGULATORY SYSTEM TOR LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA.

THAT'S GOING TO BE A STATE DECISION.

BUT HE HAS THINGS HE THINKS NEED TO BE PART OF IT BUT ALSO VOTING REFORM, CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, SOME OF THE THIMGS THINGS THE MAYOR TALKED ABOUT A LONG TIME AND A LOT OF DEMOCRATS TALKED ABOUT.

AND NOW WITH A NEWLY FULLY DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED ALBANY THERE IS MORE CHANCE OF PASSAGE.

I DO WANT TO QUICKLY GO BACK TO HOW YOU FRAME THING HERE.

OKAY.

S WHICH IS ABOUT THE MAYOR'S FOCUS.

INCHES HE IS VERY HAPPY TO BE TALKING ABOUT A PROGRESSIVE CITY THAT'S SORT OF AN EXAMPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

BUT I HIGHLY DOUBT THAT THE MAYOR IS GOING TO THROW HIS HAT IN THE RING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE.

WE SHALL SEE WHAT THE NEXT YEAR HOLDS.

BUT PEOPLE ARE MAKING THOSE DECISIONS NOW.

WE SAW ELIZABETH WARREN JUMP IN.

OTHER PEOPLE WILL DO THAT.

I DON'T SEE THE MAYOR DOING THAT.

KNOW HE CERTAINLY LIKES TO TRY TO BE A TRENDSETTER AND THIS GOAL OF MAKING IT THE FAIREST BIG CITY IN THE COUNTRY IS SOMETHING HE ALREADY SAID HE PLANS TO GO AROUND THE COUNTRY TALKING ABOUT.

I WAS GOING TO SAY HE IS CLEARLY ELEVATING THE PLATFORM.

SPEAKING OF MAYOR IN ALBANY OF COURSE THE BIG THREE LETTERS EVERYBODY WANTS.

THE MTA.

HE DID TALK ABOUT PROMOTES ON THE TABLE FOR THAT.

SO VERY IMPORTANT THAT HE IS DOING MORE OF WHAT HE CAN CONTROL AROUND THE BUSES BECAUSE THE MAYOR DOES CONTROL THE CITY STREETS.

AND THAT'S PART OF THE MTA IS TO WORK WITH THE MTA ON BUSES.

BUT HE REALLY STRESSED HE WANTS TO SEE A PLAN FOR MTA FUNDING IN THE STATE BUDGET BY APRIL 1st.

HE CAN INFLUENCE THIS.

BUT HE SOUNDED WARMER TO CONGESTION PRICING EVEN AS HE SAID HE STILL FAVORS AN INCREASED TAX ON HIGHER EARNERS TO FUND THE MTA BUT IT'S A COMBINATION OF THINGS.

SO WE'LL SEE WHERE STATE LAWMAKERS LAND ON THAT.

WELL, OF COURSE THE DEVIL IS ALWAYS IN THE DETAILS.

AND THOSE DETAILS ARE IN THE BUDGET.

HE DID MAKE IT A POINT TO TELL EVERYONE TO CIRCLE APRIL 1st ON THE CALENDAR BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN THE STATE BUDGET IS DUE.

IS THERE ANY INDICATION AS TO WHAT WE CAN EXPECT HOPEFULLY FROM A DEMOCRATICALLY CONTROLLED STATE LEGISLATURE AND A DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR WHO MIGHT NOT HAVE HAD THE BEST INTEREST OR THE BIGGEST INTERESTS IN THE MAYOR'S SPEECH TODAY.

GOVERNOR CUOMO DIDN'T SEEM TO BE LISTENING HE DID A RADIO APPEARANCE WHILE THE MAYOR WAS SPEAKING WHICH GIVES AN UNDERCUT TO THE MAYOR -- THE ATTENTION THE MAYOR WAS GETTING.

BUT THAT WON'T REALLY AFFECT THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS I DON'T THINK MUCH.

SO I THINK WE ARE SEEING CLEARLY THINGS RELATED TO VOTING AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM MOVE QUICKLY.

WE'RE SEEING NEW GUN CONTROL, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS SPANNED EXPANDED IN THE STATE.

WHEN IT COMES TO, YOU KNOW, ISSUES THAT ARE REALLY OF IMPORTANCE TO THE CITY I THINK SOME OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM WILL BE REALLY INTERESTING TO SEE.

THERE IS G GOING TO BE BATTLES OVER EDUCATION FUNDING.

THOSE ARE A COUPLE OF THE MARQUIS THINGS TO WATCH.

THE MTA IS OBVIOUSLY CERTAINLY AT TOP OF LIST AS YOU INDICATED.

I ALSO WANT TO ADD IT WAS INTERESTING SOME OF THE THINGS THE MAYOR DIDN'T GET GET TO.

HE MADE A BRIEF MENTION OF AMAZON COMING TO THE CITY.

YOU WOULD THINK IF THIS IS SOMETHING THE MAYOR WAS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT HAVING LANDED THIS DEAL TO BRING IN AMAZON CAMPUS TO QUEENS THAT HE WOULD HAVE HIGHLIGHTED IT A BIT MORE IN THE SPEECH.

HE DID MAKE BRIEF MENTION.

BUT STRANGE THAT HE WOULDN'T HIT THAT HOME A BIT MORE AS HE TALKED ABOUT OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE, AND YOU KNOW CREATING A CITY WHERE IT'S EASIER TO LIVE.

WELL JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT AMAZON ARE SUPPOSED TO BE PART OF THE PICTURE.

HE ONLY BRIEFLY MENTIONED IT.

SAME WITH NYCHA, A BRIEF MENTION BUT DIDN'T GO INTO THE DETAILS OF A PLAN THAT HE ROLLED OUT IN DECEMBER FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF NYCHA.

SOMETHING HE DOESN'T SEEM TO WANT TO TALK ABOUT MUCH.

WELL WE ONLY HAVE SECONDS LEFT.

CAN WE EXPECT THE CITY COUNCIL TO BE ONBOARD WITH THE NEW AGENDA?

I THINK IT'S A GREAT QUESTION.

AND I THINK WE NEED TO SEE WHAT THE REACTION IS FROM THE CITY COUNSEL SPEAKER COREY JOHNSON AND OTHER COUNSEL MEMBERS.

THERE ARE A FEW THINGS OUTLINED THAT HAVE BEEN PRIORITIES, PROTECTION STUFF, A RETIREMENT SAVINGS PLAN FOR WORKERS WHO DON'T HAVE ONE.

WE NEED TO SEE WHERE IT GOES EXACTLY.

AND THE PAID VACATION DAYS AS I SAID WAS A CITY COUNCIL BILL THAT'S BEEN AROUND A WHILE.

THERE IS PIECES IN THERE.

WE'LL SEE WHERE THE KPLVGT COMES.

BENITZ ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO HAVE YOU ON.

AND WE DEFINITELY WILL FOLLOW TO SEE WHERE THE GREAT PLAN THAT WAS LAID OUT BEFORE US WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS IN REALITY.

THANKS.

THANK YOU.

> IT'S NO SECRET THAT GENTRIFICATION AND SKY ROCKETING PROPERTY VALUES ARE COSTING NEW YORKERS HOMES.

BUT IN A NEW TWIST, THE CITY THIRD PARTY TRANSFER PROGRAM SUPPOSED TO HELP STRUGGLING HOME OWNERS IS BEING BLAMED FOR PROPERTY TAKEOVERS LONGSIDE FORCED FORECLOSURES AND DEED FRAUD.

THAT AT LEAST IS WHAT KOUMALASY ROBERT CORN CORNEGY AND ERIK ADAMS CLAIMED AFTER A SPIKE IN CALLERS COMPLAINING ABOUT THE PROBLEM.

HERE A LOOK AT A RECENT REPORT BY PIXIE LEVITT NEWS REPORTER JOES MASIRE.

I BOUGHT THE MOUSE IN 2004.

VAUGHN VAN WALK ARE CAN'T GO BACK TO HIS HOME IN BED-STUY BECAUSE HE LIKELY WOULD GET ARRESTED DESPITE HAVING THE PROPERTY AND NORJ IN HIS NAME HE SAYS MARSHALLS IBT EVICTED HIS FAMILY OVER THE SUMMER.

YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT WAS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY.

IMEMBARRASSED ABOUT THAT TOO.

WALKER SAYS EVEN THOUGH HIS HOME WAS NEVER NOERKZED ON THE COURT ORDER HIM TO SELL THE PRO ARE THE TO PAY OVERDUE FEES BUT HE SAID IF IT HASN'T BEEN FOR $40,000 SPEND DEFENDING HIS HOME THAT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM.

THE MONEY I SUPINE ON LEGAL FEES I COULD HAVE BEEN CAUGHT UP.

THERE NEEDS TO BE A MORATORIUM ON TAKING HOUSES FROM HOME OWNERS UNTIL WE CAN MAKE SURE SOMETHING IS NOT UNETHICAL, ILLEGAL OR IMMORAL.

BUROUGH PRESIDENT ERIK ERIC ADAMS HAS HEARD DOZENS OF SIMILAR STORES.

HOME OWNERS IN RAPIDLY GENTRIFIED JAIRS LACK LIKE BED-STUY FORCED OUT IN THE BY FORECLOSURE, DEED FRAUD OR THE CITY THIRD PARTY TRANSFER PROGRAM.

WE BELIEVE WHEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING OF THIS MAGNITUDE THAT CAN BE A LARGE NUMBER OF BLACK AND BROWN HOME OWNERS USE LOSING THEIR HOMES WHEN THE DUST SETTLES WE CAN'T LOOK BACK AND SAY, WOW WE SHOULD HAVE PAID ATTENTION TO IT.

WHICH IS WHY ADAMS AND CITY KOUMDS ROBERT CORNEGY CALL FOR A STOP ON ALL PROPERTY SEIZURES PENDING FEDERAL, STATE AND CITY INVESTIGATIONS FOR ITS PART THE CITY OFFICE PRODUCE HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT RUNNING THE TPT PROGRAM SAYS IT'S UNFAIR TO LUMP IT IN WITH ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES SCAMMING PEOPLE OUT OF HOMES.

JOINING US NOW IS JOE MASERI.

WELCOME.

THANKS FOR HAVING ZBLEE JOE, ELABORATE, PLEASE, WHY ARE VULNERABLE NEW YORKERS LIKE BEN WORK WHICH SAW LAWSING HOMESTEAD.

AS YOU HEAR IT'S THREE SCENARIOS THAT THE COUNCILMEMBER ROBERT CORNEGY AND THE ERIK ADAMS WERE TARRING.

TPT, THE THIRD PARTY TRPS.

FORCED FORECLOSURES AND DEED FRAUD.

USUALLY FALL INTO ONE OF THOSE THREE CATEGORIES.

EXPLAIN A BIT ABOUT WHAT IS FORCED FORECLOSURE?

AND DEED FRAUD?

ALL RIGHT SO I THINK ACTUALLY IT'S BEST IF WE START WITH TPT.

OKAY.

BECAUSE THEY FOLLOW FROM ONE ANOTHER.

OKAY.

TPT IS THE CITY'S THIRD PARTY TRANSFER PROGRAM.

THE GOAL IS TO HELP TENANTS.

THAT'S THE PRIORITY.

USUALLY DEALING WITH APARTMENT ABDOMINALBLOODS WRP THE LANDLORD HAS BEEN NEGLECTFUL BACKUP.

BUT IN THIS CASE AND WHAT SPARKED THE ATTENTION OF THE COUNCILMEMBER AND THE BUREAU PRESIDENT WAS THE FACT THAT WE TALK ABOUT BROWNANTS IN BROOKLYN TWO OR THREE FAMILY HOMES AND HOME OWNERS WHO HAD LOST THEIR HOME BECAUSE OF THE CITY'S THIRD PARTY TRANSFER PROGRAM.

SINCE THEY BACKTRACKED A BIT ROBERT CORNEGY HAS SAID HE LOOKED INTO THE PROGRAM AND HE HAS MORE FAITH IN IF NOW THAN PREVIOUSLY.

WHAT ABOUT BROCK LYNN BUROUGH PRESIDENT ADAMS IS HE POINTING A FINGER AT TPT.

YES BECAUSE HIS MAIN CONCERN IS GENERATIONAL WEALTH.

WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE HOMES THEY KAI ROCKETED IN VALUE WE KNOW IN THE GENTRIFICATION AND THE INCREASED POPULARITY IN BROCK BROOKLYN NEIGHBORHOODS BUT WHEN A HOME OWNER HAS SEVERAL THOUSAND IN BECOME TAXES THAT ARE DUE TO THE CITY, OFTEN TIMES ANY CAN'T AFFORD THE UPKEEP OF THE PROPERTY.

SO WHAT THE CITY IS DOING, THE H P. D.

WHAT IS HTD STANDS FOR HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT.

THEY TAKE THE PROPERTY TRANSFER TO A THIRD PARTY WHICH IS MEANT TO REHAB THE BUILDING GET IT IN THE BEST CONDITION POSSIBLE AND THEN PRESERVE AFFORD ABILITY OF THAT HOUSING.

WE KNOW ABOUT THE AFFORD ABILITY HOUSING CRISIS GOING ON IN NEW YORK CITY RIGHT NOW.

ONE MISCONCEPTION WAS THE HOME OWNERS WERE KICKED OUT OF HOMES.

RIGHT.

THEY ARE ALLOWED TO STAY IN HOMES AT AN AFFORDABLE RATE.

HOWEVER THEY DO LOSES OWNERSHIP OF HOME.

AND THAT WAS THE MAIN -- THAT IS THE MAIN CONCERN OF THE BUROUGH PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW.

SO -- SO GENTRIFICATION THE ORIGINAL SIN OF IN PROBLEM?

IS IT THE FIRST CAUSE?

I THINK THAT IT DEFINITELY ATTRACTS A LOT MORE ATTENTION WHEN THE PROPERTY VALUES SKY ROCKET.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT GENTRIFICATION DOES IS IT RAISES RENTS MANY OF THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING PROCESS.

RIGHT.

TPT COMES IN AND THEY TRY AND KEEP THE TENANTS.

IF THEY WINK ABOUT THE APARTMENT BUILDING IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS BY PRESERVING THE AFFORD ABILITY.

BUT THERE IS INCENTIVE FOR THE LANDLORDS TO FORCE OUT TENANTS BY MAKING SURE THE CONDITIONS IN THE BUILDING DETERIORATE BECAUSE AS THEY TURNOVER THEY ARE ABLE TO RAISE RENTS MORE.

A LOT OF IT CAN BE TRACED BACK TO GENTRIFICATION.

HOW EXTENSIVE IS THIS PROBLEM?

WHY DID IT SEEM TO EXPLODE AUCHLDS LAST YEAR.

SO THE NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS COMING INTO THE BUROUGH PRESIDENT'S OFFICE AND THE COUNCILMEMBER'S OFFICE SEEMED TO BE EXPLODING BECAUSE I THINK PEOPLE WERE BECOMING MORE AWARE OF IT.

WE TALKED ABOUT TPT.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT TPT DOES IS IT HELPS PEOPLE GET OUT OF DEBT BY GIVING THEM TAX EXEMPTIONS PUTTING THEM ON PAYMENT PLANS, FINDING A WAY.

80% OF THE BUILDING GOING INTO THE TPT PROGRAM WITH MANAGED TO EXIT BEFORE THEY LOSE THE OWNERSHIP OFF IT OVER THE THREE-YEARS THIS PROCESS TAKES.

SO SOME PEOPLE HOWEVER ARE SKEPTICAL BECAUSE WHEN SOMEONE IS OFFERING YOU HELP LIKE THAT IN NEW YORK YOU'RE WORRIED THAT YOU'RE GETTING SCAMMED.

RIGHT.

AND THE REASON THEY ARE WORRIED THEY ARE GETTING SCAMMED IS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE SCAMMING WHEN IT COMES TO THAT.

SURE.

THAT'S WHAT DEED FRAUD IS.

WE HEARD ONE CASE WHERE A COUPLE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS WERE OFFERING SOMEBODY HELP AND WHEN THEY WERE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE WHAT THEY WERE DO SOMETHING SIGNING THE DEED OVER TO THEIR HOME.

IT'S HARD FOR PEOPLE TO TRUST WHEN SOMEONE IS SAYING I'M HERE TO HELP YOU GET OUT OF THE HOLE THAT YOU'RE IN.

SO ADAMS AND CORNEGY ARE CALLING FOR A MORATORIUM ON PROPERTY SEIZURES UNTIL FLS A FEDERAL, STATE AND CITY INVESTIGATION.

HOW LIKELY IS THAT TO HAPPEN.

I THINK AT THIS POINT AS FAR AS THE TPT PROGRAM IS CONCERNED THERE IS GOING TO BE A A LITTLE BIT OF DRAWBACK ON THAT.

WE HAVE SEEN IT ALREADY.

WHEN IT COMES TO DEED FRAUD, THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY IS AWARE OF THE PROBLEM THAT EXISTS.

THEY HAVE I BELIEVE IT'S ABOUT 20 PROSECUTIONS AND CONVICTIONS OF DEED FRAUD IN THE LAST FEW YEARS.

AND THIS PROBLEM REALLY STARTED IN 2014 SAME TIME THE PROPERTY VALUES REALLY STARTED TO RISE.

THAT'S WHEN WE SAW MORE OF THIS HAPPEN.

AS FAR AS THE INVESTIGATION INTO FORCED FORECLOSURES, I THINK YOU'RE LIKELY TO SEE THAT.

BECAUSE ONE OF THE CONCERNS AS YOU HEARD IN THE CASE OF THIS STORY IS THAT THIS GENTLEMAN HAD THE MONEY TO PAY THE BACK FEES ON HIS MORTGAGE.

BUT HE WASN'T AFFORDED THAT OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE HE HAD TO USE THAT MONEY FOR LEGAL FEES IN COURT.

IF THE COURTS OPERATED THE SAME WAY THAT THE CITY'S OPERATING WITH THE TPT PROGRAM PUTTING PEOPLE ON PAYMENT PLANS GIVING LENIENCY I THINK WE'D SEE LESS PEOPLE WITH HOMES FORECLOSURED ON AND ULTIMATE LIP I THINK THAT'S THE GOAL FOR HOME OWNER.

QUICKLY I THINK WE HAVE LESS THAN ABOUT 30 SECONDS.

IF SOMEONE WATCHING US NOW IS WORRIED THAT THEY'RE ON THE VERGE OF LOSING THEIR HOME FOR ONE OF THESE REASONS WHO SHOULD ANY CONTACT.

THE NUMBER ONE THING THEY SHOULD DO IS REACH OUT TO THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IF THEY THINK THEY'VE ALREADY BECOME A VICTIM.

IF NOT, THE CITY HAS A NOTIFICATION SYSTEM FOR YOU WHERE IF ANY CHANGES ARE MADE TO YOUR PROPERTY YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED.

THE SAME WAY BANK OF AMERICA WILL NOTIFY YOU IF THERE IS A SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY ON YOUR DEBIT CARD, THE CITY WILL DO THE SAME THING IF FLS SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY ON YOUR PROPERTY RECORDS.

AND YOU SHOULD SIGN UP FOR THAT RIGHT AWAY TO BE INFORMED.

ALL RIGHT, JOE, VERY USEFUL INFORMATION.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING ZBLOUS THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

AND FOR SHARING THAT WITH US.

> NATURE VERSUS NURTURE.

CLASH WHEN THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS DISCOVERED THEY WERE INDEED TRIPLETS SEPARATED AT BIRTH.

LATER ON FINDING OUT THEY WERE PART OF AN EXPERIMENT FACILITATED BY THE LOUISE WISE ADOPTION AGENCY HERE IN MANHATTAN DURING THE 1950s AND 60s.

THE STORIES OF THE THREE MEN, THE ACCIDENTAL REUNIFICATION, THE EXPERIMENT AND THE FALLOUT NOW THE SUBJECT OF A CRITICALLY ACLAIMED FILM TITLED 'THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS.'

LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

> I WOULDN'T BELIEVE THE STORY IF SOMEONE ELSE WERE TELLING IT IT.

BUT IT'S TRUE, EVERY WORD OF IT.

IT STARTED WHEN I WENT TO COLLEGE.

I WAS THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.

ALL THESE PEOPLE COME UP TO ME SAYING EDDIE HOW ARE YOU?

EDDIE HIGH.

MY NAME IS NOT EDDIE I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

AS SOON AS THIS GUY TURNED AROUND I FEW IT WAS EDDIE'S DOUBLE.

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS YOU HAVE A TWIN BROTHER.

OH, MY GOD.

JOINING US TO SHARE THE DETAILS OF THE STORY AND MORE IS THE FILM DIRECTOR.

TIM MORTAL.

THANKS FOR LETTING ME BE HERE.

GIVE US A INFORMATION.

TRIPLET THE PUT UP FOR ADOPTION AT BIRTH.

HOW DID THE DISCOVERY TAKE PLACE.

AS YOU TAI SAY TRIP SEPARATELIED AT BIRTH RAISED BY COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FAMILIES COMPLETELY UNAWARE OF EACH OTHER'S EXISTENCE.

REUNITED BY A SERIES OF BIZARRE COINCIDES, THE MAIN BEING WHAT WE HAVE BOBBY SHARCH GOES TO COLLEGE AT AGE 19, THE SMALL COLLEGE IN UPSTATE NEW YORK.

SULLIVAN COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE TURNS UP THE FIRST DAY AND EVERYONE ACTS LIKE THEY'VE KNOWN HIM FOREVER.

AND HE QUICKLY.

HE IS SAYING, GIRLS COMING UP GIFTING HIP HIM KISS.

HE SAYS THIS IS A WELCOMING COLLEGE.

AND THEY QUICKLY WORK OUT THAT HE LOOKS VERY, VERY SIMILAR TO THIS OTHER STUDENT EDDIE AT THE COLLEGE THE YEAR BEFORE BUT HAS LEFT.

AND THEY EVENTUALLY TRACK DOWN EDDIE AND THE TWO BOYS MEET EACH OTHER.

AND IT'S IMMEDIATELY APPARENT THEY ARE IDENTICAL.

THEY ARE CLONES OF OF EACH OTHER.

AND EVERYONE THINKS THEY ARE TWINS.

AND A FEW PAY IPS PICK UP THE STORY WIDELY REPORTED THEY THE NEXT DAY THEY GET A PHONE CALL FROM SOMEONE READING ABOUT IT IN THE PAPER AND I I THINK WE'RE NOT TWINS WE'RE TRIPLETS.

FROM THEN ON THINGS GO CRAZY.

THAT FORMS THE BASIS OF A REALLY INTERESTING HUMAN NATURE, HUMAN INTEREST STORY.

BUT IT MOVES INTO A MORE COMPLEX STORY AFTERWARD HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?

YEAH, I MEAN AS YOU SAY THEY WERE FAMOUS IN 1980s.

AND IT WAS TOUTED AS THE ULTIMATE HUMAN INTEREST FEEL GOOD STORY.

THINGS STARTED TO SHIFT FURTHER INTO THE STORY AS THEY STARTED LOOKING BACK AT THE REASONS FOR THE SEPARATION.

THEY DIDN'T KNOW THIS FAMILY.

WAY WOULD HE WE BE SEPARATED THEY REMEMBERED SKROIFTING COMING TO HOMES AND STUDYING THEM IN HOMES EACH OF THE INDIVIDUAL FAMILIES WERE TOLD THIS IS JUST A NORMAL ROUTINE CHILD ADOPTION STUDIED WE DO THIS WITH LOTS OF KIDS.

THEY STARTED TO WONDER IF THERE WAS MORE TO IT THAN THAT.

AND EVENTUALLY A JOURNALIST, PULITZER WINNING JOURNALIST LAWRENCE WRIGHT STARTED LOOKING INTO THE STORY AND DISCOVERED THAT THERE WAS A SCIENCE EXPERIMENT GOING ON AND THESE BOYS HAD BEEN SEPARATED ON PURPOSE FOR THE EXPERIMENT.

WAS HE ABLE TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT OF THIS SCIENCE EXPERIMENT, HOW MANY OTHER CHILDREN WERE INVOLVED?

HE -- LAWRENCE DISCOVERED THAT THERE WERE DEFINITELY A NUMBER OF OTHER TWINS INVOLVED, A NUMBER OTHER MULTIPLE BIRTHS.

AND WE NO HE ABOUT -- WE KNOW FIVE PAIRS AND THE TRIPLETS.

BUT THE TROUGT IS NO ONE KNOWS HOW MANY THERE COULD BE MORE AND WE DON'T KNOW.

WAS THERE EVER ANYTHING PUBLISHED OR GOT OUT IN THE SCIENTIFIC WORLD THAT PROVIDED ANY DETAILS TO THIS.

NO -- THAT'S THE REAL SCANNEDLAND AND INJUSTICE OF THIS THAT- THAT THESE BROTHERS AND OTHER TWINS ARE SEPARATED AND STUDIED OVER YEARS AND YEARS, DECADES.

AND ALL THIS INFORMATION WAS LOCKED AWAY IN A -- IN A SAFE IN A VAULT AT YALE UNIVERSITY NOT TO BE OPENED UNTIL 2066.

FROM THE PRIMARY RESEARCHER, THE DOCUMENTS HE PUT TOGETHER.

YEAH THE MAN RUNNING THE STUDY WAS A FAMDS PSYCHIATRIST, PETER NEUBAUER PB THE FATHER OF CHILD PSYCHIATRY IN AMERICA.

WORKED WITH FREUD'S DAUGHTER SUSANNA FREUD.

AND HE RAN THE STUDY BUT VERY SECRETIVE.

AND ONCE NEWS STARTED TO GET OUT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THIS IS IN 1980 AFTER THE TRIPLETS REUNITED HE AND THE REST OF THE RESEARCHERS WENT TO GROUND AND BURIED ALL THE INFORMATION.

WHAT SORT OF PARALLELS DID YOU DISCOVER PUTTING THIS FILM TOGETHER AMONGST THE THREE AS THEY WERE YOUNGSTERS?

AND THEN AS LIVES PROGRESSED?

WELL, I MEAN, THE EXTRAORDINARY THING IS WHEN THESE THREE BOYS WERE GROWING UP IN THE SEPARATE FAMILIES UNAWARE OF EACH OTHER'S EXHIBITS EXISTENCE THEY EXHIBITED BEHAVIOR STRIKINGLY PARALLEL THINGS LIKE WELL FIRST OF ALL THEY ALL EXPERIENCED SEPARATION ANXIETY AT BEING SPLIT UP FROM BROTHERS THEY DIDN'T KNOW EXISTED ALL OF THE FAMILIES REMEMBERED THEM ROCKING IN THEIR COTS IN THE CRIBS AND BANGING HEADS AGAINST THE WALL AND EXHIBITING QUITE UNUSUAL BEHAVIOR.

AND THEN THERE IS ALSO STUFF LIKE ONE OF THEM WHEN HE WAS 6 OR 7 YEARS OLD HAD REAL PAIN IN HIS LEG.

AND THE FAMILY TOOK HIM TO A DOCTOR TO GET HIM LOOKED OUT AND NO ONE COULD WORK OUT WHAT WAS WRONG.

AND LATER WHEN THE BROTHERS WERE REUNITED IT TURNED OUT ONE OF THE OTHER BROTHERS HAD HIS LEGS IN BRACES AT THAT TIME.

HOW ABOUT GIVE ME A SENSE OF THEIR LIVES AS ADULTS AND HOW THEIR LIVES PROGRESSED.

WELL, INITIALLY THEY HAD THIS PERIOD OF BEING FAMOUS AND THEY WERE OUT AT STUDIO 54.

THEY WERE THE TOAST OF NEW YORK FOR A BIT.

AND THEY SET UP A BUSINESS TOGETHER.

ANY SET UP A RESTAURANT CALLED TRIPLETS IN MANHATTAN THAT WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL FOR A PERIOD OF TIME.

AND THEN THINGS STARTED TO GO WRONG.

ANY FELL OUT WITH EACH OTHER.

YOU KNOW, THEY MARRIED WOMEN WITH DIFFERENT IDEAS I THINK OF WHAT THEY WANTED FROM THIS BROTHERLY RELATIONSHIP.

AND ULTIMATELY TRAGICALLY ONE OF THEM, EDDIE, DEVELOPED MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS AND TOOK HIS OWN LIFE IN '95.

WAS THERE SOMETHING THAT TRULY SURPRISED YOU OR -- OR YOU HAD NOT ANTICIPATED AS YOU WERE PUTTING THIS FILM TOGETHER?

I THINK I LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT NATURE -- NATURE VERSUS NURTURE, THE WHOLE DEBATE.

AND THAT'S THE HEART OF THE FILM.

WHEN HE MADE THE FILM I HAD MY FIRST CHILD.

AND THE FILM AND MY PERSONAL LIFE STUDY FEEDING INTO EACH OTHER I STARTED SEEING STUFF IN MY SON A THINKING IS THIS FROM ME GENETICALLY OR IS HE LEARNING IT FROM THE ENVIRONMENT?

THAT DEFINITELY INFORMED THE FILM AND MADE ME THINK MORE ABOUT THE BROTHERS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP.

IT'S KIND OF UNFORTUNATE THAT WE NEVER FOUND OUT WHAT THE RESULTS OF THIS STUDY WERE.

I THINK YOU'RE RIGHT.

I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THE BROTHERS FIND MOST EGREGIOUS ABOUT WHAT WAS DONE TO THEM NOT THAT THEY WERE SEPARATED FOR THE EXPERIMENT BUT THAT NO GOOD HAS COME OF IT.

NO KNOWLEDGE GLEANED FROM IT AND IT WOULD MAKE IT EASIER FOR THEM TO LIVE WITH IF THERE WERE ANSWERS OR DEFINITIVE INFORMATION THAT HAD BEEN FOUND AS A RESULT OF TAERPG THE LIVES APART.

TIM I GOT TO TELL YOU IT'S EXTRAORDINARY WORK.

GREAT STORYTELLING.

A GREAT DETECTIVE STORY AS YOU WATCH IT.

AND CERTAINLY IS VERY THOUGHTFUL LOOK AT A VERY BIZARRE CIRCUMSTANCE HERE.

SO THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US.

GOOD WORK I THINK PEOPLE WILL ENJOY WATCHING THAT.

THANK YOU.

AND A REMINDER TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE DOCUMENTARY THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS AND WHERE YOU CAN WATCH IT, MAKE SURE YOU VISIT US AT METROFOCUS.ORG.

ANNOUNCER: METROFOCUS IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ ROSALIND P. WALTER BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG AND BY --.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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