Landlord Steve Croman entered a guilty plea last week in response to charges from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that Croman illegally forced tenants out of their rent-stabilized apartments by hiring an ex-cop to intimidate them, let units fall into disrepair and filed frivolous lawsuits to drain residents of cash. Croman is facing a year at Rikers Island and a $5 million fine, but not because he harassed tenants; rather, it is for tax fraud and falsifying business records.
Tenant harassment is a big problem in the city, where rising real estate values give landlords motive to push out people who pay regulated, below-market rents. Between 2011 and 2015, tenant-harassment complaints filed in city Housing Court doubled, yet not a single landlord has been convicted since the state Legislature made harassment a crime20 years ago.
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Source: Crain's New York Business (via The Empire Report)