The unkempt lawn and a sign on the front door are the only signs that anything may be wrong with the house at 162-38 90 St. But what’s inside the home has neighbors very concerned.
Residents who live in the area have complained that squatters are living in the vacant house and are worried about the possible effect on the community’s quality of life.
Police and neighbors are calling him a squatter, but the man who is living in the house, identifying himself only as Peter, rejects that designation.
“I’m not a squatter,” he said. “I’m cleaning the place up. I suppose whoever owns it will want to rent it one day.”
Peter said he has lived in the home since last year. He described it as “a hot mess” when he got there.
The home was owned by Isaac Khafizov, who was convicted in 2012 of federal mail and wire fraud charges connected to a mortgage scheme. He is currently serving a nine-year sentence in a federal prison.
Neighbors, none of whom wanted to be identified, said the house has been vacant since at least 2012. One resident who lives several doors away says it was vacant earlier than that. The home is in foreclosure and the entity that holds the deed is based in Florida.