As Black funeral homes shut their doors, Albany’s Garland Brothers becomes a rare necessity

ALBANY — Germaine Farilien stepped back from his uncle in Garland Brothers’ Funeral Home in awe.

Lying down in his white casket, donning his white firefighter’s dress uniform, Dary Taylor looked sharp. Even more, he looked like himself.

Farilien turned to his cousin and Taylor’s daughter, Amber Taylor. He wants to get his uncle’s worn deck of cards, he said, the one Dary used to play — and win at — spades religiously for hours, and have the family sign the cards to be buried with Dary. The suggestion moved Amber to tears — until Garland Brothers’ manager the Rev. Thomas House told her he, too, is a spades fanatic, holding up his iPhone to show her the app as proof.

“See? This is how we relate,” Amber said, breaking into a belly laugh.

For nearly a century, Garland Brothers’ Funeral Home has offered a trusted service to generations of

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A fraud ring was shut down. Then cops say they realized lawyers were in on it.

A married couple’s lucrative foreclosure fraud should’ve ended when they were convicted and locked up behind bars. But the illegal money kept flowing their way — thanks to two lawyers who were helping carry out the fraud, authorities say.

The lawyers, Rashida Overby, 46, and Ria Sankar-Balram, 40, were working in concert with the couple, using their expertise to help steal nearly $750,000 in surplus funds from the sale of foreclosed homes, Broward sheriff’s investigators say.

It was one of the larger schemes to play out in a South Florida: Unsuspecting homeowners — many in over their head with mortgages — were unknowingly being taken advantage of. The married couple, Illya and Patricia Tinker, were part of a ring that illegally took ownership of dozens of homes through the mastery of falsified paperwork. The thieves were making out big — some $12 million in real estate value big, investigators

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