By Maria Sole Campinoti and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN
(CNN) — A man claims a $1.5 million home is being built on his Fairfield, Connecticut, property without his permission after somebody fraudulently sold the land to a property developer, according to a lawsuit.
Daniel Kenigsberg says he and his family have long owned the disputed plot of land – which he had left undeveloped – and accuses a local attorney of fraudulently selling the land deed to Sky Top Partners, a local firm, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Kenigsberg last month.
Kenigsberg is requesting that the land’s title be returned to him and that Sky Top Partners stop construction and “remove any structures and/or materials” from the property, according to the suit.
The lawsuit accuses local attorney Anthony Monelli of using a forged power of attorney document to say he was Kenigsberg’s lawyer and execute the sale of the land.
Kenigsberg says the document bears a forgery of his signature and falsely states that he lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, even though Kenigsberg has never lived there, according to the suit.
Kenigsberg currently lives in New York and grew up in Connecticut on a parcel of land adjoining the property named in the suit, the lawsuit says.
When reached by CNN, Monelli declined to comment.
Sky Top Partners’ attorney, Jay Lawlor, said in a statement to CNN that the firm was not aware that the sale was fraudulent.
“This past May, my client learned to its shock and dismay that Dr. Kenigsberg had not, in fact, sold the property to it. Rather, a third party had impersonated Dr. Kenigsberg and – through the carelessness and neglect of the various real estate professionals involved in the transaction – managed to list, market, and sell the property without anyone ever catching on,” Lawlor said.
The house has only been partially built and “hundreds of thousands of dollars have been invested,” the attorney said.
The four-bedroom home was listed for sale at $1,475,000, according to an online listing with Coldwell Banker that has since been taken down.
“My client is a victim – the same as Dr. Kenigsberg,” Lawlor said.
Lawlor added that he plans to file a motion to dismiss many of the claims against Sky Top Partners in Kenigsberg’s lawsuit. He also plans to file a lawsuit against the “real estate professionals who facilitated the sale of the property.”
The Fairfield Police Department is investigating the property sale, police Lieutenant Michael Paris confirmed to CNN. He declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.
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CNN’s Laura Ly and Zenebou Sylla contributed to this report.