A 66-year-old Mahopac man is accused of forging a local judge's signature on an eviction notice for his Cortlandt tenant, according to officials.
Members of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation at the Cortlandt barracks of the New York State Police charged Joseph Bene Jan. 21 with first-degree identity theft and second-degree forgery, felonies. The arrest followed a complaint from the Town of Cortlandt Court about an eviction notice with Judge Daniel McCarthy's forged signature.
"The investigation revealed that Bene had previously appeared in the Town of Cortlandt Court in an attempt to obtain a warrant of eviction in order to have a Town of Cortlandt tenant evicted," police said. "After being advised by Judge McCarthy that he did not follow the proper procedures and was therefore denied the document, Bene decided to fraudulently make up his own document and forge Judge McCarthy's signature. The eviction notice was then served on the tenant, who became suspicious of its authenticity and brought it to the court for verification."
The defendant was arraigned in Putnam Valley Justice Court and released pending an appearance Tuesday in Carmel Justice Court.