Man accused of 'squatting' in Queens home faces judge, promises 'revelation' in case

Dan Krauth Image
Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Queens squatter faces judge and promises 'revelation' in case
7 On Your Side Investigative reporter Dan Krauth has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A man accused of squatting inside a couple's recently purchased multi-million dollar home in Douglaston, Queens, says there is "more to the story."

7 On Your Side Investigates caught up with Brett Flores outside Queens Civil County with his attorney Dennis O'Sullivan. Flores appeared for a scheduled hearing in the case.

"I can't give you the whole story," said O'Sullivan who was standing next to Flores.

Flores directed all questions about the case to his attorney.

As we first reported last week, Joseph and Susana Landa purchased a $2 million home in Douglaston, Queens back in October. They say Flores has refused to leave the property.

Dan Krauth has more.

Court documents show Flores used to work for the former homeowner Bernard Fernandez as his caretaker. He was paid $3,000 a week and his unemployment ended in January of 2023 when Fernandez died. Flores has remained in the home.

The house went on the market and the Landas purchased the property.

"He is just technically an ex-employee, he worked for the guy that passed away, that's it," Susana Landa said.

The Landas say they had no idea the problem they were inheriting.

"Our system is broken, I would never imagine we have no rights," Susana Landa said.

They're suing Flores in Landlord Tenant Court to try and get Flores evicted. They claim not only has Flores been living in the home, they say he has listed the home online in the past to rent out rooms to other people.

Meanwhile, Flores is suing them for alleged harassment.

Flores claims he has audio recordings that will help tell his side of the story. They're recordings he hasn't released to Eyewitness News or to the court, and he and his attorney won't elaborate more on what's on the recordings.

A judge in Queens Civil Court told Flores and his attorney he has one week to provide the recordings to the Landa family and their attorney.

O'Sullivan told the judge he had been retained by Flores hours before the hearing and needed more time to prepare. When a judge asked why it has taken so long to hire an attorney and produce the recordings, O'Sullivan said "He has a newborn child with respiratory issues."

"A revelation will turn this narrative on its head," O'Sullivan told Eyewitness News. "The homeowners, the Landas, are not victims in this case."

O'Sullivan gave no proof as to why.

Meanwhile, we've learned Brett Flores, who also goes by Brett Fisher, was arrested at the home in question on December 13 in an unrelated case. He's accused of pushing, picking up and throwing down his wife. He's facing both assault and harassment charges in that case.

The next hearing for the eviction isn't until April. Meanwhile, Flores has filed for bankruptcy which has delayed the process.

Dan Krauth talks about the case on Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10

Dan Krauth has the story.


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