Friday, December 5, 2008
It took 90 minutes for Daily News to 'steal' the Empire State Building
In one of the biggest heists in American history, the Daily News "stole" the $2 billion Empire State Building.
And it wasn't that hard.
The News swiped the 102-story Art Deco skyscraper by drawing up a batch of bogus documents, making a fake notary stamp and filing paperwork with the city to transfer the deed to the property.
Some of the information was laughable: Original "King Kong" star Fay Wray is listed as a witness and the notary shared a name with bank robber Willie Sutton.
The massive ripoff illustrates a gaping loophole in the city's system for recording deeds, mortgages and other transactions.
The loophole: The system - run by the office of the city register - doesn't require clerks to verify the information.