Sunny Sheu, Judicial Reform Activist, Dies A Few Months After Saying He Was Pursued By Judge Joseph Golia in Queens Supreme Court
Sunny died of head trauma on saturday, June 26, 2010 on a street in New York City . On April 9, 2010, he made a video in which he claimed that if anything happened to him it would be at the hands of the judge overseeing his mortgage fraud case, Judge Joseph Golia.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Sunny Shue Dies Two Months After Asking For Protection From Judge Joseph Golia
New Court Court Corruption
Sunny Shue died Saturday June 26, 2010. The police reports say that he was found outside of his apartment with severe head trauma. He died several hours later in the hospital. I met Sunny several times because he and I are both interested in reforming the judiciary in New York State. We want the judges in New York State to remember who they are in service to, and what the Rule of Law really means.
On June 23, 2010 he and two others went to the judicial ethics committee with documents that Sunny says proved his allegations about Judge Golia. He said over and over again, "I got him! I got Golia!" according to one of the two people who were there with him.
Here is a paper that Sunny gave me a few weeks before his death. He filed it November 23, 2009 with the Judicial Ethics Commission.
Video that Sunny did on April 9 2010, asking for protection from Judge Joseph Golia.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Queens Homeowner Fights To Hold Onto Home Stolen In Deed Theft Scheme; May Lose House Anyway Despite Successful Forgery Prosecution Against Scammers
In Queens County, New York, The Black Star News reports (see below - Editor) on the story of Sun-Ming Sheu, a local resident and immigrant from Taiwan who had his home ripped off from out from under by scammers in 2001 in a straw buyer scam which utilized a forged power of attorney to complete a fraudulent transfer of the title to the house. The scammers then obtained a mortgage against the home, failed to make the mortage payments, and Sheu has been fighting off a foreclosure ever since.
To add insult to injury, the scammers were actually busted by the New York City police, and they ultimately copped pleas to forgery. However, the mortgage lender that was duped into financing the fraudulent sale and the title insurer that issued the lender's title insurance policy have ignored the successful criminal prosecution and all the evidence produced demonstrating that the signatures on the documents in the fraudulent sale were forged, and have continued to move forward on the foreclosure of Sheu's home, acting as if the fraudulent closing was authentic. A reportedly accomodating judge, Queens Supreme Court Justice Joseph Golia, has allowed the foreclosure to proceed.
Most recently, Sheu reportedly met twice with a criminal investigator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in June, 2009 for a total of about four hours and discussed his case and submitted documentation. “We cannot confirm or deny that we are investigating this case,” the investigator told The Black Star News, when contacted by phone.
Alleges: "Junk Justice" System And Mortgage Fraud
by Milton Allimadi, Black Star News
The man has been fighting a foreclosure for nearly 10 years.
Sun-Ming Sheu was eating Chinese noodle soup one day nine years ago when he heard a knock on the door of his Queens house.
When Sheu stepped out, he found an agent from Tower Insurance who told him that he was there to inspect the house for its new owner. "I almost choked on my soup," Sheu recalled in an interview with The Black Star News.
Sheu says he had never sold his house.
Earlier, he had worked with Manhattan-based mortgage brokers to refinance the house, which was under the name of his brother, Ming Chien Hsu. It turns out that the mortgage broker, Yek-Yun Chiu (a.k.a. Roman Chiu) and other accomplices, had forged his brother Hsu's signature on a power of attorney and applied for a mortgage loan with Centex Home Equity.
The forged power of attorney was signed and dated February 11, 2000; Sheu's brother, Hsu, was later able to prove that he was actually in Taiwan on that date and could not have signed the document.
Sheu immediately reported the fraud to the police and obtained a complaint report #7167, on June 19, 2000, from the 109 precinct, in Queens. Sheu also reported the matter to the Queens County District Attorney's office and to the Manhattan D.A., since the fraudsters worked in Manhattan.
On June 19, 2000, Sheu faxed a copy of the police complaint he had filed, to Ed Folland, a Centex official, and B. Osterman, director of collection, at Centex, alerting them to the fraud. Sheu also spoke with both officials by phone. “Folland said he would investigate,” Sheu said.
Sheu also faxed a copy of the police complaint on the same date to Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, which provided title insurance for the May 23, 2000 closing. He also reported the fraudulent mortgage loan to Midwest Finance, which was the agent for Chase Bank of Texas, the original mortgage lender to his brother, Hsu.
Sheu said he warned Centex to recover its money, since the mortgage had been fraudulently obtained. He said he was confident things would soon be resolved once Old Republic issued him with a claim #43391, after he had written a letter to the New York Department of Insurance, complaining about the fraudulent conveyance.
The letter from Old Republic with the claim number, reviewed by The Black Star, is dated October 5, 2004, and was signed by Felice K. Shapiro, then Vice President, New York State Counsel. The claim was assigned to Timothy McLeron, then the New York State Claims counsel for Old Republic.
Rather than deal with his claim, Sheu says, Centex and Old Republic decided to pretend as if the May 23, 2000 closing was not fraudulent, even though he provided both companies with documentation.
Instead, Centex later filed a lawsuit to foreclose on the property, Sheu says. “It was like a thief suing the victim. They conspired to steal my property," Sheu claims.
Nine years later, Sheu has been foreclosed on his property by Old Republic, which substituted for Centex as plaintiff, in 2008.
Separately, officials at both Centex and Old Republic did not return phone calls and e-mail messages from The Black Star seeking comment.
A lawyer for Old Republic, Matthew Dollinger, did not respond to an e-mail message with detailed questions. A spokesman for the New York State Department of Insurance did not return a phone message and e-mail message by publication time. Similarly, a spokesman for the New York State Attorney General did not respond by publication time.
At the fraudulent closing, on May 23, 2000, two associates of the broker, Yek-Yun Chiu, participated in the scam, Sheu says. Amy Cheng, whose real name is Jin Rong Wang, acted as the “buyer” of the property. She carried multiple identifications, and used the fake one, "Amy Cheng" for the closing. Her boyfriend Jing Gao, acted as the “seller.”
The pair was later busted by police and pleaded guilty on forgery charges.
Jin Rong Wang, the supposed buyer, did not even make the required $30,000 down payment on the property, Sheu says. Yet the deal was okayed by Centex’s lawyer, Brooklyn-based attorney Jakov J. Bohensky, Sheu says.
Bohensky’s name appears on the federally-required HUD-1 document certifying that the $30,000 downpayment was made; although his signature is not on the form.
The Black Star News has also reviewed photocopies of what purports to be checks made out by Bohensky in connection with the transaction. One check, purportedly made out to Ming Chien Hsu, Sheu’s brother, is for $4,112.60; Sheu says it was also a fake check since his brother was not selling the property, and, in any case, was not even in the country and never received the check.
Another check, purportedly for $1,000 was to Jeffrey Ruan, who was supposed to have been Jing Gao’s, the “seller’s” lawyer.
A copy of what purports to be a money order for $1,000, one of several payments towards the purchase of the house, made out to Sheu’s brother, Hsu, by Amy Cheng, is drawn from Abacus Federal Savings Bank, in Chinatown. Canal Street is mispelled “Cannal Street.”
In an interview Ruan told The Black Star News that when Sheu later told him about the forgery, he wrote to Old Republic urging that the company not transfer the title pending resolution of the alleged forgery.
"What I cannot understand is how Centex's lawyer at the closing went along with this scam," Sheu says, in the interview. “He must have known it was fraudulent as the detectives said.”
Bohensky did not return a phone message from The Black Star News seeking comment.
The Black Star News spoke with one of the New York Police detectives who looked into Sheu's allegations in 2000. He said he was able to confirm that it was a forged power of attorney and that Sheu's brother, Hsu, was not in the country and could not have signed it in front of the notary public. He said bank records also showed that some purported deposits were actually never made.
Sheu also blames Midwest Finance, the agent for Chase Bank of Texas, his brother's mortgage holder, for not returning the money to Centex after he notified the company of the 2000 forgery. Contacted by The Black Star News, a Midwest official confirmed that Sheu's mortgage had been paid off; he wouldn't provide additional information.
Even after the May 23, 2000 fraudulent “closing” Sheu says, he wasn't too worried initially because he believed once he had reported the fraud to police and the DA, things would eventually be sorted out.
"It was the court system that later betrayed me," says the immigrant from Taiwan." Is this the American way?"
Acting as if the May 23, 2000 closing had been authentic, on January 10, 2001, Centex’s title insurer, Old Republic, recorded the property's deed and mortgage with the New York City Register, in Queens County. Old Republic listed Sheu’s brother, Ming Chien Hsu, as the first “party” and Jing Gao, the phony "seller" at the May 23, 2000 "closing" as the second “party.”
"This was knowingly criminal," Sheu claims.
Then on December 12, 2001, Centex filed a lawsuit against Sheu and his brother Hsu in State Supreme Court, in Queens County, seeking a default judgment on the property, arguing that Amy Cheng was not making payment on the mortgage, even though Cheng was the fictitious name of the buyer at the fraudulent May 23, 2000 closing.
So, in addition to Sheu and Hsu, Centex listed as co-defendants, the very individuals that had victimized the brothers: Jin Rong Wang (a.k.a. Amy Cheng); her boyfriend Jing Gao; and the broker who presided over the fraudulent May 23, 2000 "closing," Yek-Yun Chiu. Non of the fraudsters ever appeared in court.
The case was assigned to Justice Joseph Golia in State Supreme Court in Queens.
Judge Joseph Golia
"My nightmare was just beginning," Sheu now recalls. “It was like the thief suing the victim of the crime.”
Sheu says had Judge Golia granted him due process, including disclosure, he would have quickly exposed the fraud perpetrated against him and had the case would have been thrown out.
Instead, Judge Golia granted summary judgment in favor of Centex and foreclosed on the property on July 21, 2004, records show.
Sheu continued to complain to Centex. A September 23, 2004 letter to Sheu's brother, Hsu, by Gerry King, a customer relations officer at the company acknowledges receiving “numerous faxed letters and copies of various documents” from Sheu but adds that “it was the decision of the court that insufficient evidence to prove fraud was provided and the Supreme Court of the State of New York issued a judgment of foreclosure...”
“There was no deposition; no discovery; so how could I present evidence to show fraud?” Sheu says, in the interview with The Black Star.
Sheu says even though Centex knew its May 23, 2000 originated mortgage was fraudulent, it was now using the Court system to legitimize the transaction.
The foreclosure sale was on January 28, 2005. “Centex bought the property for $1,000 from Amy Cheng, the fraudster,” Sheu says. “That was not even her real name. How can you buy property from someone who does not exist?”
A week after Centex “bought” the property, on February 2, 2005, both Jin Rong Wang (a.k.a. Amy Cheng) and Jing Gao, who had never appeared in court on the Centex case, were arrested based on the criminal forgery complaint filed by Sheu in 2000.
Sheu sent a fax to Centex’s Gerry King about the development and also informed Judge Golia. Sheu says he was appalled so he also wrote a letter to New York State Chief Administrative Judge, Jonathan Lippman, complaining about how his brother's property had been "stolen." He accused Golia of “bias” and “discrimination.”
Sheu says on February 3, 2005, Jason Garlick, an Assistant District Attorney at the Queens County DA’s office, who had prosecuted Jin Rong Wang (a.k.a Amy Cheng) and Jing Gao, called him and asked him not to contact media about his case. “Judge Golia must have called the DA’s office because I told him I was going to media,” Sheu says.
Judge Golia ordered a hearing for April, which was later moved to May 18 and 19, 2005
The order was signed by Judge Golia on March 17, 2005 and stamped with the Queens county clerk’s seal on March 23, 2005. Sheu says when he’d last checked court records on March 24, 2005, there was no such entry or copy of such an order.
In fact, Sheu says, the only order he found in the records at the time, signed by Judge Golia on March 17, 2005, and stamped with the Queens county clerk’s seal on March 23, 2005, was a denial of Sheu’s and his brother, Hsu’s motion for Judge Golia to
After the May hearing, it was not until nearly a year later, on April 12, 2006, that Judge Golia returned with a ruling on the case.
Judge Golia again denied the defendants’ motion that he recuse himself; the judge cancelled the fraudulent deed of May 23, 2000 between Ming Chien Hsu and Jin Rong Wang (a.k.a Amy Cheng); he cancelled the foreclosure order filed on July 21, 2004; and, he cancelled and vacated the foreclosure sale of January 28, 2005.
Judge Golia, however, did not restore Ming Chien Hsu’s (Sheu’s brother) original 15-years $226,500 mortgage with SMI Mortgage (SMI had later assigned the mortgage to Chase Bank of Texas).
"This violated my right as a crime victim to be restored to original status," Sheu says, reading from papers he had pulled from research.
That wasn’t all.
Judge Golia awarded Summary Judgment in favor of Centex to foreclose an equitable mortgage, under the doctrine of Equitable Subrogation against the premises: he ruled that Centex had paid off the original mortgage.
"How can equitable subrogation apply to stolen property?” Sheu asks. "This means if I have a lot of money, like Centex, I can pay off anybody's mortgage anywhere without their permission and then take possession of their home and kick them out," Sheu noted, sarcastically.
Judge Golia did not return phone calls seeking comment and also didn’t respond to an e-mail message. In a phone interview, Mitchell Kaufman, Judge Golia’s law secretary claimed Sheu’s information about the fraud would not have made a difference in the case “if Centex did not know at the time” of the May 23, 2000 closing that it was based on the forged power of attorney. “Apparently Mr. Sheu is either unwilling or unable to accept the judgment of equitable subrogation.”
Sheu retorts: “Centex knew it was a fraudulent transaction. It was represented by an attorney—Bohensky and the fraudulent transaction was endorsed by Joseph Bigman, Old Republic's title agent. In any case Old Republic issued me a claim number and they still did nothing except to foreclose.”
Asked what if Centex did know, or came to know that the May 23, 2000 closing was fraudulent Kaufman said, of Sheu: “He may have a tort claim against Centex.”
Judge Golia appointed Martin Evans as referee charged with computing the amount owed to Centex by Sheu. Evans entered a judgment amount of $465,433.29 in favor of Centex.
Golia also ruled that Centex could move for a judgment of foreclosure and sale, with costs, disbursements and any additional allowance as allowed by law.
Separately, Dollinger, Gonski & Grossman, the law firm representing Centex (now representing Old Republic, since it substituted as the plaintiff), managed to get a satisfaction of mortgage document from Chase Bank of Texas, even though the mortgage was in the name of Mr. Sheu’s brother, Hsu.
Sheu said when he called Midwest, Craig K. Olson, a Vice President, told him that a lawyer from Dollinger had informed Midwest that the firm represented Sheu and his brother, Hsu.
Judge Golia issued a judgment of foreclosure sale on April 7, 2009. The foreclosure sale occurred on May 15, 2009.
On May 27, Sheu appeared before Judge Golia with Stephen Katz, an attorney, and Judge Golia denied Sheu’s motion to vacate the order for foreclosure and sale.
In his motion, Sheu said Old Republic was foreclosing on a loan “obtained by fraud and by forgery of a power of attorney,” to which Judge Golia wrote: “This assertion is intentionally misleading and disingenuous at best.”
"It is the truth," Sheu says. "It is nothing but the whole truth."
In the almost decade he's been fighting for the property, Sheu has learned a few things about the law. He pulls out information he’s researched and reads, "Part 100 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts Governing Judicial conduct. Section 100.3. Disqualification. A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or the judge has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding."
In June 2009, Sheu met twice with a criminal investigator at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District for a total of about four hours and discussed his case and submitted documentation. “We cannot confirm or deny that we are investigating this case,” the investigator told The Black Star News, when contacted by phone.
"These seem to be issues for the Appellate Division as I am not in position, nor am I qualified, to say whether or not a Judge's decision was 'proper' or not nor am in a position to say what rule of law should have been used to decide a particular case," David Bookstaver, Communications Director for the New York State Unified Court System Office of Court Administration told The Black Star News.
Desperate, on June 23, 2009, Sheu again filed an order to show cause for a temporary restraining order to halt any further action even though the sale had already occurred.
He demanded that detectives Keith Ng and Kin Lee, now both retired, who both had investigated the fraudulent May 23, 2000 closing, be permitted to testify.
Judge Bernice D. Siegal, stayed any additional proceedings with respect to sale of the property, with a return hearing date of July 8, 2009.
At the July 8, hearing, Judge Golia set another hearing date for July 15, 2009, at which time Sheu was to produce cancelled checks for all payments he had made over the last nine years on the property, for taxes; insurance payments; and, utilities.
This reporter attended the July 15, 2009, hearing and observed the clearly acrimonious relationship between Judge Golia and Sheu. The Judge Golia kept shouting at Sheu, who was unable to produce receipts; Sheu on the other hand kept shouting at the judge about the May 23, 2000 fraudulent conveyance he insisted was at the root of his predicament.
“This is junk justice,” Sheu said, as he walked out of the court. "Nobody is above the law, except Judge Golia."
Note: Readers if you believe you’ve been the victim of a mortgage scam and have documentation please contact Milton@blackstarnews.com or call (212) 481-7745
Please post your comments directly online or submit them to Milton@blackstarnews.com
“Speaking Truth To Empower.”
Alleges: “Junk Justice” In Queens Mortgage Fraud Case
By Milton Allimadi, Black Star News, July 30th, 2009
Part Two Of A Series
On June 23, 2009 Justice Bernice D. Siegal, of State Supreme Court in Queens County stayed any additional proceedings with respect to foreclosure sale of a Queens property, where the owner, Sun-Ming Sheu, has accused a judge presiding over the case, Justice Joseph Golia, of bias in favor of the plaintiff.
(Please see: http://www.blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/5904/2009-07-29.html for background on the story).
The return date of the stay by Judge Siegal was July 8, 2009.
In a telephone interview today, Mitchell Kaufman, Judge Golia’s law secretary said the judge had lifted the stay on July 8, on the first date of two hearings on the case, whose original caption was Centex Home Equity vs. Amy Cheng—there was a second hearing on July 15, whose purpose now makes no sense.
Old Republic National Title Insurance Company (the company substituted for Centex as plaintiff in 2008) has won a summary judgment to foreclose and sell the property.
Judge Golia issued the most recent judgment of foreclosure sale on April 7, 2009 and the foreclosure sale occurred on May 15, 2009.
Records reviewed by The Black Star News show that Centex, the previous plaintiff of record, had actually originated a mortgage against the property in question on May 23, 2000 in a fraudulent closing during which a forged power of attorney purporting to be the property owner’s, was used.
Sheu claims that he was not informed that Judge Golia had lifted the stay signed by Justice Siegal. “This is an example of the same corruption I have suffered in this court for nine year now,” Sheu says. “They did not inform me that the stay was lifted so I could not file another stay. I will file another one immediately. I hope the case can be removed from this judge.”
State Supreme Court records, as well as on the Court’s own website show no records indicating that Judge Golia had indeed vacated the June 23 stay.
In the telephone interview today, Kaufman reiterated that the June 23 stay by Judge Siegal, had been vacated by Judge Golia “on the first return date” of July 8, 2009.
Asked why there was no documentation of Judge Golia having vacated the June 23 stay, Kaufman said: “I don’t know. The judge didn’t write a decision to that effect. The judge issued an order. When a judge states something it’s an order. I don’t think it was ever reduced to writing. I would not be surprised if it’s actually on the document,” he said, adding, “If you go into the court file and get an order of the stay, the judge may have stricken the stay and signed the striking of the stay on that date or he may have just done it orally.”
Asked whether transcripts from the hearing would document the judge having lifted the stay, Kaufman said, “No, not unless there was a reporter to record it.”
When told that Sheu, who was present at the July hearing has no record of Judge Golia ever having lifted the stay, Kaufman said: “Well I know Sheu was present. I can’t speak to his ability to recall. He may have forgotten; he may not have paid attention.”
He added: “I honestly don’t know. I did speak to the judge and the judge said he lifted it; he lifted the stay on the return date if the order to show cause.”
As previously reported in The Black Star News, at the July 8, 2009 hearing, Judge Golia had set another hearing date for July 15, 2009, at which time Sheu was to produce cancelled checks for all payments he had made over the last nine years on the property, for taxes; insurance payments; and, utilities.
This reporter attended the July 15, 2009, hearing which was essentially a shouting match between Judge Golia and Sheu.
Sheu added: "Judge Golia never vacated the stay on July 8. Why would he have held a hearing on July 15?"
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Alleged Junk Justice: Defendant Claims “Kidnap” In Mortgage Scam Case
By Milton Allimadi, Black Star News, August 7th, 2009
The man says he was “kidnapped” by New York City police detectives in an attempt to scare him off his fight to keep control of his home.
Sun-Ming Sheu has been fighting a foreclosure case since 2000. He says the decks are stacked against him. In addition to dealing with a mortgage company, Centex Home Equity Co., that “stole” his house in a fraudulent closing on May 23, 2000, he’s also been battling a judge he claims is “biased” against him.
He says even though Centex was well aware it had acquired the disputed property in a closing in which a forged document was used; the company still filed a lawsuit to foreclose on the property rather than pursue the criminals involved in the forgery. “Centex became part of the crime,” Sheu says.
Sheu says his numerous letters of protest to Judge Joseph Golia, who has presided over the case in State Supreme Court in Queens, and to other court officials, resulted in an arm-twisting visit from detectives.
Sheu had been demanding in the letters that two detectives who investigated the 2000 mortgage scam be permitted to testify on his behalf.
One letter Sheu sent to Judge Golia was dated January 6, 2009. He complained that he had been denied his right to discovery and deposition. Had detectives Keith Ng, formerly of the 109 precincts, and Kin Lee, formerly of the Manhattan D.A.’s office, been allowed to testify early when the case began in 2001, the two would have exposed Centex’s involvement in the phony mortgage closing, Sheu says.
Sheu also sent a copy of the letter to Administrative Judge Jeremy Weinstein. He hand delivered a copy to Judge Golia’s residence. Sheu says he decided to take the letter to the judge’s residence because in the nine years he’d been fighting the case; the judge had appeared no more than five times even though records show nearly 30 official court sessions. “Whenever I went to court I had to hand my papers to his law clerk Mitchell Kaufman,” Sheu recalls.
About a week after Sheu left the letter at Judge Golia’s residence, on January 14, 2009, Sheu says, when he stepped out of the judge’s courtroom after submitting some documents, and while he was still inside the Queens Court house, two men in plainclothes approached him. The men flashed badges, tapped their side arms, and asked him to accompany them.
Sheu says the men declined to provide business cards. He was driven in an unmarked car to the Queens county D.A.’s office, where he was led in through a rear entrance, he says.
Inside a small room, Sheu sat facing the two men across a table, he says.
He was required to provide his social security number, and made to empty his pockets. One detective left the room and made photocopies of his driver’s license as well as his credit cards, Sheu says. “One of them said ‘We know you’re a victim of mortgage fraud, but we are not going to talk about that today,’” she recalls.
Then one of them opened a folder and revealed the letter he had left in Judge Golia’s mailbox. “He said ‘did you send this letter?’ and I said ‘yes,’” Sheu recalls. “Then they began to say ‘don’t contact detective Keith Ng again.’ They said ‘the house belongs to the bank.’ They began to ask me about my tax issues and my immigration issue. One of them said they would like to go to my home to see my passport. They were getting angrier.”
Sheu says one of the detectives leaned across the desk towards him. “He said ‘you cannot send a letter again,’” Sheu recalled. And I cannot contact detective Keith Ng again. They kept saying ‘you cannot contact Keith Ng again.’”
He says he asked whether Jayson Garlick, an assistant district attorney who had once worked on the May 23, 2000 fraudulent mortgage closing case was available, and was told Garlick no longer work at the Queens County D.A.’s office.
Sheu says the detectives also copied phone numbers from his cell phone. He said he was kept for two hours before being escorted downstairs and let out of a side door that led towards a drugstore. “They didn’t write down anything,” Sheu recalls.
He said he had to demand for his driver’s license back before he walked out of the building. Sheu met with a retired detective the next day and narrated the incident to him. “He said one word,” Sheu recalled. “Kidnap.”
On January 18, Sheu sent a letter to Robert H. Tembeckjian, Administrator and Counsel to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct, documenting what he now calls his “kidnapping.”
Judge Golia did not return a phone message seeking comment.
The judge’s law clerk,