Lawyer reveals how $1.5M house was built on man’s land without him knowing

  • Consumer protection lawyer, Kevin Kneupper, took to TikTok to break down how a man found a $1.5 million house constructed on land he’d bought
  • The owner is taking the owner of the ‘cuckoo’ house to court
  • It ended his dream of living next door of his childhood home

Published on Mar 12, 2024 at 5:59 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on Mar 13, 2024 at 1:25 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Alessandro Renesis

A lawyer has explained how a $1.5 million house was built on the man’s land he’d bought for construction himself without his knowledge.

Consumer protection lawyer, Kevin Kneupper, took to TikTok to break down how this was able to happen.

The doctor, who specializes in endocrinology, is taking the owner of the ‘cuckoo’ house to court.

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The scam ended his long-term hopes of owning a house next door to his childhood home.

Situated in New Haven, Connecticut, Kenigsberg bought the half-acre strip at 51 Sky Top Terrace back in 1991.

His father bought the home nearby for just $5,000 in 1953 – so it had sentimental significance.

His family bought the lot directly from the family that settled the area in 1716.

While a lot at the time, it’s a drop in the ocean to Jeff Bezos, who spent a staggering amount on his neighboring estates.

Dr Kenigsberg raised his family in Long Island, after medical school in New York and a residency in Maryland.

Despite leaving the lot vacant for several decades, Dr Kenigsberg never let go of his dream of one day moving back to the area.

“Certainly if one of my children wanted to live in Fairfield, Connecticut, I’d be very happy about that,” Kenigsberg said.

However, on May 31 last year, he received a call that would shatter that dream.

A friend informed him that a $1.5 million house had cropped up on the man’s land that was sitting vacant.

“I said: ‘I own that and I never sold it’. I was shocked,” he told CT Insider.

He visited the site and saw an almost-completed four-bedroom house, valued at $1.45 million.

Kneupper explained that it derives from a South African real-estate scam.

“Someone who claimed to have the same name – it probably was just made up in a forgery – basically signed what’s called ‘a power of attorney’, which is the right to sign legal documents on someone’s behalf,” the lawyer of Kneupper & Covey PC said.

It’s alleged that the power of attorney was granted by Anthony Monelli of Trumbull, Connecticut.

“So they forge a document that claims [to be] from the owner, this Daniel Kenigsberg guy, someone in South Africa forged it, and then goes around to a property company and, you know, sells them the land, showing them the document claiming that they have the legal right from the owner of the land to sell it to them,” he continued.

“It’s really easy to go find who owns land. If you’ve never done searches on this, in most counties, you can actually just go, it depends on your state.”

“But in many places, you just search online, they’ll have databases, so they could find out real easily who’s the actual owner and then just pretend to be him.”

Mr. Kenigsberg isn’t accusing the people who bought the land of being responsible.

Now the police are trying to track down “where the money actually went to when they paid for it.”

According to its listing, the home was under offer in March.

Official records state that the land was sold to 51 Sky Top Partners LLC for $350,000 in October 2022 – they also claim to be victims.

Kenigsberg is taking legal action and suing the firm on nine counts to void the land sale.

These cover charges of trespass, statutory theft and unfair trade practices, and an additional $2 million in damages.

He is demanding that the company involved removes “any structures and/or materials from the Property and restore the Property to the condition that it was in prior to Defendants’ trespass upon it”.

“I’m angry that so many people were so negligent that this could have happened. It’s more than obnoxious – it’s offensive and wrong,” Kenigsberg said.

The same publication was informed by Fairfield Police lieutenant, Michael Paris, that a criminal probe is underway.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.