Son of inmate already behind bars for housing fraud gets 10 years

Judge called the father's accomplice a 'most versatile criminal'

Steve Tawa
May 31, 2018 - 7:48 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The son of an inmate already sentenced to 16 years in prison from a Philadelphia housing fraud scheme made his appearance before a judge. 

A federal jury previously found that 56-year-old Kenneth Hampton, while behind bars, used prison telephones to recruit his kin — including his 37-year old son, Terrell Hampton — in a scheme to steal Philadelphia rowhouses. 

A separate jury convicted Terrell Hampton on similar conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 15 counts of fraud and two counts of ID theft.

District Court Judge Gerald Pappert called him a "most versatile criminal" before sentencing him to 10 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said the duo scouted out properties — some of them vacant — created fake deeds to obtain titles, and then exploited the properties by selling some of them to unwitting third parties for profit.

"As the judge said, 'The son was all in.' That's as good a summary of the evidence that you're going to get," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Shapiro.

Shapiro noted the Hamptons targeted people who were vulnerable either for medical or economic reasons — or people who are deceased — and the victims' families lacked the resources to challenge them.

"These homes may not have been at the top of the real estate market, but they were people's major assets," Shapiro added. "They were places that they lived their lives, grew up in and had great value and importance to them."

Kenneth Hampton, who masterminded the house-stealing scheme from his prison cell, was sentenced to 16 years in prison in a separate trial previously.

"Although he was the leader, of both the family and the scheme, he needed arms and legs on the ground. That was primarily Terrell. Indeed, he called him his No. 1 son," Shapiro said.