PENNSYLVANIA – Civic association head is charged in land theft that rattled South Philly’s Grays Ferry community
Civic association head is charged in land theft that rattled South Philly’s Grays Ferry community
Posted: August 3, 2020
A South Philadelphia man has been arrested on charges that he stole land owned by a neighborhood organization that he helped start decades ago, long before the city’s economic revival made the properties valuable.
Mark Meighan, 60, of Grays Ferry, was charged last week with theft by deception, records tampering, forgery, and other offenses, court filings show.
The Inquirer reported in October that Meighan was said to be under investigation over his handling of seven rowhouse-size parcels on South Dover Street, which he is accused of taking from the Guenther Street Civic Association neighborhood group.
Records show that he had deeded the properties — together worth upward of $300,000, based on other sales in the area — to himself for $1 each in September 2017.
After taking ownership of the parcels, Meighan allegedly continued to collect payments from people who parked at the properties, keeping the cash for himself, according to the warrant for his arrest.
Neighbors told The Inquirer last year that he had also openly discussed selling the properties to a developer or building houses on them himself. Soaring property values in some Philadelphia neighborhoods have made the city an attractive hunting ground for real estate scammers, who in some cases forge deeds to seize ownership of homes and vacant lots they can flip. Read more: