In one of the biggest heists in American history, the Daily News “stole” the $2 billion Empire State Building.
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.
Of course, stealing the Empire State Building wouldn’t go unnoticed for long, but it shows how easy it is for con artists to swipe more modest buildings right out from under their owners. Armed with a fraudulent deed, they can take out big mortgages and disappear, leaving a mess for property owners, banks and bureaucrats.