Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Sep 22, 2010 11:58 am CDT
A lawyer in the Empire State Building and actor Randy Quaid have something in common: They are both accused of squatting.
The actor, who appeared in National Lampoon’s Vacation, was arrested with his wife after they were found living in a California home they once owned, TMZ.com reports. They were charged with felony residential burglary.
The lawyer, Daniel Perlman, was a squatter on the 40th floor of the Empire State Building for about seven months, working out of a 3,000-square-foot suite once occupied by a mortgage broker, a law firm and other businesses, the New York Times reports.
“Daniel K. Perlman had the quietest, cheapest and strangest office in New York City,” the story says. “It was quiet because he had a deserted six-room suite to himself; cheap because he paid zero in rent; and strange because he had all of this on the 40th floor of one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world.”
Perlman had a deal with the law firm, which rented from the mortgage broker, in which he paid up to $500 a month in rent in exchange for doing some legal work, the Times says. He waited for an eviction notice after the firm and other businesses left, but never got one.
Eventually, Perlman’s office ID card was deactivated, but he got a new one from a friend in the building on a floor where he intended to relocate, according to the Times account. The freebie ended in February, when his office and desk was removed. The locks were changed soon afterward.
“I didn’t think of it as a scam,” Perlman, a family law and criminal defense lawyer, told the Times. “If I’m guilty of anything, I’m guilty of procrastinating.”
For their part, the Quaids claim they fell victim to fraudsters who forged the signature of a dead woman on a legal document and then illegally transferred their property to a third party, according to TMZ.com.