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Newark Man Convicted of Stealing House and Money From Vulnerable Woman

By metrostaff on

By: Yuritza Arroyo

Authorities in Essex County announced that a jury has convicted Obadiah Salters, 36, of Newark, of multiple counts of theft and forgery, which resulted in a victim with a mental-health condition losing her house and more than $110,000.

According to officials, following a four-day trial before the Superior Court, the jury found him guilty on all 24 counts relating to the theft and forgery charges.

Officials say in December 2016, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Financial Crimes Unit initiated an investigation into alleged acts of forgery and theft by Salters against the victim, who has a diagnosed mental health condition.



In September 2016, Salters forged the victim’s signature and initials on a power of attorney document, granting him legal authority to act on her behalf; that document was recorded with the Essex County Register of Deeds and Mortgages.

According to authorities, in November 2016, Salters forged the victim’s signature on a deed, conveying her right, title, and interest in her house on Ridge Street in Newark to him.

Authorities say at the time; the house had an assessed value of $172,000.

The house was the victim’s childhood home, which she inherited from her parents, and where she lived for more than four decades.

The notary public testified that the victim was not present when the power of attorney document and the deed were notarized.

According to officials, additionally, Salters forged the victim’s signature, along with the signature of her late mother, on checks that were deposited into his bank account, totaling more than $110,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 4. Salters faces up to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison for the second-degree theft conviction.

Assistant Prosecutor Allison Korodan, who tried the case, said that after many years, the victim has finally received justice and closure.

“I’d like to thank the jurors,” added Korodan, “for carefully considering the evidence in this fraud case.”