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Mar 24 2017

A nonprofit evicts a veteran due to false depiction as sex offender

A nonprofit is charged with falsely depicting a veteran as a sex offender and evicting him from his home. According to PIX 11 News, residents of a Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York saw posters throughout the community warning them about former U.S. Army Specialist Ellison McKnight. The posters claim that McKnight was a level-three sex offender.

Mike Erber, the operator of the nonprofit, Mutual Assurance Guaranteed Veterans, or MAG-V, is alleged to have put up the fictitious fliers. According to Peter Kempner of Brooklyn Legal Services and the Director of the Veteran Justice Project, Erber has falsely accused McKnight of being a sex offender thus, endangering his safety. Kempner claims it was a plan to evict McKnight from his apartment.

During a hearing at a Brooklyn Housing Court, Erber said that the U.S. Department of Veterans informed him that McKnight was a sex offender. When Erber was asked to produce documents supporting his claims, he could not do so. The judge at the hearing issued an order restoring McKnight to his home.

Erber, however, ignored the court order and did not allow McKnight to return to his apartment. McKnight and his attorneys returned to court and obtained two more orders restoring him to his home. However, Erber has continued to ignore the orders. McKnight fears going to a shelter due to safety concerns, and he has resorted to sleeping wherever he can.

Erber, who currently faces misdemeanor charges, has been accused of illegally evicting and scamming veterans. Moreover, Erber has been accused of misappropriating rent money of the residents.

McKnight’s story serves as an example of how an accusation of a sex crime can have devastating consequences to a person’s life. If you have been falsely accused of committing a sex crime, call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Brill Legal Group, P.C.