The trial of a South Richmond Hill man accused of fabricating the death of a child in the World Trade Center attack and then wrongfully taking $190,000 from charities helping families of Sept. 11 victims began last week in Manhattan.
Cyril Kendall, 54, of 107-18 123rd St., is accused of accepting money from the Red Cross and Safe Horizon charities for grief counseling and other costs brought about when his make-believe 13th child died while in Tower 1 on Sept. 11, 2001, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office said.
Opening statements in front of State Supreme Court Judge Ronald Zweibel in Manhattan began July 17.
"Our investigation revealed that the child never existed and we allege that he (Kendall) received $190,867," spokeswoman Barbara Thompson said.
Thompson said Kendall was charged with grand larceny, possession of forged instruments and falsifying business records in March 2002 along with several others also accused of making false claims to get money from World Trade Center relief agencies.
She said Kendall, who has 12 children, falsely filed for a death certificate by alleging his son died when Tower 1 collapsed.
If convicted, Thompson said, Kendall faces up to 25 years in prison. He is currently in police custody and bail is set at $75,000, the district attorney's office said.
Kendall was arrested in 1986 and subsequently found guilty in the third-degree rape of his daughter, a spokeswoman at the Queens district attorney's office said. He was sentenced to four months in prison and received five years' probation.
Kendall, who has pleaded not guilty in the case, claims he accompanied his son for a job interview on the day of the World Trade Center attacks, the Manhattan DA's office said. Kendall lives with his wife, Doreen, at their South Richmond Hill home, neighbors said.
Doreen Kendall was not at home and could not be reached for comment.
Neighbors of the Kendalls were hesitant to comment on the case and most were unaware of who their neighbors are.
Prosecutors would not comment on the case.
One woman who lives two houses down from Kendall and would not give her name said she would occasionally talk with him and his wife, but she said the trio only discussed non-personal matters. She did not know Kendall had been charged and was on trial.
Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2003 Community News Group
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