According to the article:
In the summer of 2014, a New York landlord with a modest portfolio received a letter from a certain Raphael Toledano, Esq. In the letter, Toledano allegedly identified himself as belonging to Truman & Wildes LLP, a Park Avenue law firm. He claimed to be representing real estate investor Josh Zegen in a 1031 exchange, and assured the landlord that his client was interested in one of his buildings and would “pay above market value” for it.
The issue, however, is that Truman & Wildes LLP is bogus. It is not a licensed law firm in the tri-state area, and isn’t even a registered entity in Delaware, Connecticut, New Jersey or New York. Its website, which was taken down shortly after The Real Deal began making inquiries, appears to be a basic web template with language lifted verbatim from legitimate law firms. Misrepresenting oneself as a lawyer is illegal.
For his part, Toledano, a former broker and now a prominent local real estate investor, denies any connection with the law firm. But property records and interviews with his former employees, business associates and industry players indicate otherwise.
In compiling nearly a 20-building portfolio, the majority of them in the East Village, the 25-year-old Toledano "has been peppered with allegations of cheating his partners and harassing his tenants," as The Real Deal put it.
To date, rent-stabilized tenants at 444 E. 13th St. have filed suit against him for alleged harassment. In addition, in August, Aaron Jungreis, one of the city's elite multifamily brokers, sued Toledano, "claiming he was squeezed out of a $100 million deal" to acquire 16 East Village buildings. (That suit was later settled.)
In addition, the landlord of Toledano's Flatiron office reportedly filed suit against him for failing to pay rent.
As for multiple identifications, City Limits noted this in an article about Toledano and 444 E. 13th St. back in September:
Curiously, there are numerous websites with similar URLs purporting to have been created by Raphael Toledanos across the country that fill up Google search results for his name. One Raphael Toledano is "a fervent traveler from the incredible state of Chicago," another is a "19-year-old boy from Ohio who wants to become an internationally recognized soccer player," and still another is "an Assistant Principal in one of the reputed schools of Rhode Island." Each of these sites was created on January 28, 2015 according to registration information on whois.net.
The last post on each of the sites is Feb. 24.
Toledano and Brook Hill closed on the 16-building East Village portfolio for $97 million back in the fall.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: Landlord of 444 E. 13th St. threatened 'to drop dynamite on the building'
Reader report: Large portfolio of East Village buildings ready to change hands
Report: State investigating East Village landlord Raphael Toledano
Report: Uncle suing nephew broker Raphael Toledano over $100 million East Village deal
Report: Raphael Toledano completes purchase of 16-building East Village portfolio
More about alleged harassment and landlord visits via Brook Hill Properties
Brook Hill Properties launches chocolate offensive
In op-ed, Raphael Toledano says that he wants 'to make the East Village a better place'