Squatter who used Shake Shack receipt to try to prove he had claim to NY home indicted on burglary, theft charges

May 15, 2024 | Political News

The squatter who used a Shake Shack receipt to try and prove that he had a legal right to live in a $930,000 New York City home faces a slew of charges by the Queens District Attorney's Office.

Lance White-Hunt, 24, was indicted on one count of second-degree burglary, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, five counts of first-degree identity theft, third-degree attempted grand larceny, petit larceny, third-degree attempted criminal possession of stolen property, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, tampering with physical evidence, and three counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief.

According to a press release from the DA's office, White-Hunt allegedly began occupying the property in January, and when authorities showed up in March, he provided a “lease” document in which he allegedly forged the homeowner's broker's signature, and a bill from AT&T with an account number that did not exist.

He later sued homeowners Denis Kurlyand and Juliya Fulman for an “illegal lockout,” however the suit was dismissed with prejudice by a judge.

White-Hunt was subsequently arrested on May 13 at an apartment on West 18th Street in Brooklyn and taken into custody.

He is due back in court on June 11. If found guilty, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

“You cannot claim rights to a home that you have entered illegally,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz stated. “My office will not allow individuals to capitalize on the confusion surrounding squatters' rights for their own personal gain.”

She vowed to “bring criminal charges and secure indictments not only for the unlawful occupancy, but also for any forged documents used in the commission of the crime,” adding, “the law does not permit illegal residency and we will continue to prosecute such cases in Queens.”