China's high-rise 'dead projects' scam unknowing buyers

China’s booming housing market is creating opportunities for unscrupulous developers who tack on illegal dwellings atop new or existing permitted buildings that leave new owners either stuck with the property, unable to sell, or, worse, without the place itself if the government decides to demolish.

Developers of these properties typically disappear after the sale, leaving the owners — like Frenchman Didier Boissiere who paid more than $1 million for what turned out to be an illegal Beijing penthouse — high and dry and stuck with the option of expensive legal recourse against the developer and government.

Source: Gizmodo