Wednesday, August 8, 2018

AG announces details on how Croman tenants can receive restitution for harassment


New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood yesterday announced that tenants who live or formerly lived in buildings owned by Steve Croman may now apply for restitution, as part of the $8 million settlement deal reached last December.

Here's part of the release from the AG's office:

The settlement arose out of an investigation and lawsuit filed by the Attorney General’s office against Croman for engaging in illegal conduct — including harassment, coercion, and fraud — in order to force rent-regulated tenants out of their apartments and convert their apartments into highly profitable market-rate units.

“This office has zero tolerance for predatory landlords who seek to line their pockets at the expense of their tenants’ wellbeing,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Now, Croman tenants will finally get the restitution and protections they deserve as a result of this unprecedented settlement — the largest-ever with an individual landlord. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure landlords play by the rules, and pursue them to the fullest extent of the law when they don’t.”

The consent decree requires Croman to pay $8 million into a Tenant Restitution Fund – the largest-ever monetary settlement with an individual landlord. Tenants are eligible for restitution if they are or were a tenant in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment owned by Croman between July 1, 2011 and the date of the agreement (December 20, 2017); they received a buyout of less than $20,000, not including any amount that purported to cover rent or arrears; and no other tenant in their apartment received money from the restitution fund. Several hundred current and former tenants are potentially eligible to apply for these restitution funds.

This week, JND Legal Administration, the claims administrator, mailed claim notices and forms to current and former rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants in Croman’s buildings. Those forms and additional information are also available at www.cromanrestitutionfund.com.

The $8 million will be divided equally among eligible claimants and distributed to tenants in installments over a period of 38 to 42 months, with the first installment coming as soon as the claims administrator processes all of the first-round claim forms.

In addition to this $8 million Tenant Restitution Fund, the settlement requires that a new, independent management company run Croman's residential properties for five years. In June, the AG's office selected Michael Besen’s New York City Management to oversee Croman's real-estate empire, which includes 47 buildings with 617 units in the East Village.

Croman was released from the Manhattan Correctional Facility on June 1 after serving eight months of a one-year jail sentence and paid a $5 million tax settlement following separate criminal charges brought by the AG's office for fraudulent refinancing of loans and tax fraud.

Previously on EV Grieve:
AG's office: Steve Croman agrees to pay $8 million to the tenants he harassed

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I live across from one of Croman's buildings which was mysteriously emptied of all the long-term tenants awhile back, and which now exists to rent high-priced crash pads to those under the age of 30 who want to PARTY early & often.

I hope every one of my former neighbors who got kicked out of that building gets full restitution.