The day of legal reckoning finally came last week for a big-time New York City landlord when, on Tuesday, a Manhattan judge sentenced the embattled businessman Steven Croman to a one-year jail term to be served on Rikers Island.
Legions of rent-stabilized tenants who previously lived in or still reside in Croman-owned properties (the landlord reportedly owns more than 140 apartment buildings scattered across the city) aren’t shedding tears over the outcome. It is likely, in fact, that many of them think it was too lenient.
We have spotlighted Croman and his unquestionably bad-faith and unlawful renter-focused strategies before, noting in a June 23 entry from last year that he was long an investigatory focus of state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman before both criminal and civil lawsuits were commenced against him alleging a number of wrongful acts.
As a recent media report notes, the civil case is still ongoing.
As for the criminal matter (which resulted in a $5 million tax penalty imposed upon Croman in addition to his scheduled incarceration), Croman ultimately pleaded guilty to myriad charges of fraudulent refinancing, tax fraud and additional counts.
Many tenants say that they long suffered abuse in Croman dwellings that was aimed at forcing them out of rent-stabilized units in order to falsely denote market-rate rental amounts to qualify for comparatively attractive financing opportunities. We note several tenant stories in the above-cited blog post.
We also note therein that the attorneys at Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue & Joseph, LLP, have for a number of years advocated with success on behalf of many harassed tenants in Croman buildings.
We welcome contacts to the firm from any NYC renter who has questions or concerns regarding housing-related matters.