A Brooklyn man is facing 15 years in prison after attempting to steal New York’s $76m (£39.4m) SoHo Grand hotel.
Kouadio Kouassi, 46, has been charged with attempted grand larceny and two counts of offering a false document, after allegedly filing a forged business certificate with the county’s clerk office.
Kouassi then tried to record a property deed at the department of finance, transferring ownership of the hotel from the Hartz group to himself.
After several attempts to register the paperwork, which failed when he could not provide all the necessary signatures and documents, an employee contacted the Department of Investigation.
The Hartz Group, which owns the hotel, told investigators they did not know Kouassi and had made no agreement to sell the hotel to him.
A spokesman for the group said: “We think that since we bought the land, built the hotel and have run it for 12 years that we actually own the hotel. I guess we should take it as a compliment.”
By Alex Blakelock
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