Through the years, tenants of rent-controlled apartments say that Michel Pimienta has threatened them with eviction or accused them of illegal sub-letting — "anything to get them out so the landlord can start collecting hefty market rate rent in gentrifying neighborhoods," the Daily News reported.
Fielding dozens of complaints from frightened tenants, Schneiderman last week got Pimienta to agree to pay a $40,000 fine and give up his "relocation" efforts.
“This agreement will help ensure that lawful tenants are not harassed or pressured into giving up their homes by an unlicensed and unscrupulous tenant relocater,” Schneiderman said.
The article doesn't mention which landlords hired Pimienta through the years.
He was well-known on the Lower East Side and in the East Village.
As far back as 2005, Pimienta was red-flagged by state regulators after harassing a tenant in the East Village by accusing him of running a brothel.
To settle that complaint, the tenants' landlord agreed to terminate Pimienta.
But he didn't go away.
"We're surprised at how brazen this guy is," said Brandon Kielbasa, tenant organizer with the nonprofit Cooper Square Committee.
The article notes that the AG's case against another tenant relocator, Steve Croman heavy Anthony Falconite, is pending.
Photo of Michel Pimienta via the Daily News