THE BRONX - A group of first-time homeowners has filed a class-action lawsuit claiming they were defrauded of the American dream of home ownership.

Joined by their lawyer and local politicians, the homeowners came together on the steps of the Bronx Supreme Courthouse to announce the lawsuit against 10 defendants. They allege the group of local contractors, brokers, architects and lawyers collaborated in an elaborate scheme to defraud the buyers.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants fraudulently sold the Bronx residents homes knowing that they did not have a valid certificate of occupancy.

Many of the homes were purchased six years ago, when the city's Department of Buildings issued temporary certificates of occupancy, but according to the lawsuit, the work was so poor that the DOB could not issue certificates that would actually allow owners to stay there.

Some homeowners say they are paying thousands of dollars in fines to keep their homes and fix the shoddy constructions.

Sen. Klein urges anyone who believes they may have also been defrauded to come forward.