FOX 11 Investigates an unbelievable story of forgery, fraud, identity theft, and the theft of an elderly man’s home, all committed from behind bars of a state prison in Lancaster, California.
An inmate already convicted of impersonating people to steal their homes, did it again, according to authorities, while serving prison time for his original crimes.
Using smuggled cell phones and accomplices on the outside, Anthony Curtis was able to steal the home of 83-year-old John Barber. Barber had lived in the home for more than 40 years and was unaware of the theft until a neighbor saw some of Curtis’ accomplices trying to empty the home of its contents.
According to court records, Curtis was able to have the title transferred to a partner in crime and then they cashed-out a $150,000 loan. If not for the neighbor, they may have been able to get away with the crime. But, police came, tracked down the crooks and they were caught and convicted.
Barber, after many, many months was able to get his home back in his name. The state says the problem of smuggled cell phones is “rampant” and they are doing what they can to keep the contraband out of the hands of inmates.