Multi-Millionaire Socialite using illegal tactics to force low income residents out

Discussion in 'Politics and News' started by Oldgamer, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Oldgamer

    Oldgamer Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    3,280
    Likes Received:
    1
    This story is one of many and sheds some light on what is happening in one of many states.

    What happens is you get a land lord like this who engages in a contract agreement with the state to offer low income housing to people who are disabled or are on fixed incomes like medicare etc.

    The landlord is reimbursed a partial amount to my understanding by the state for doing this. However over time what happens is property values go up and they want to increase their rates and make money and they get stuck in the agreement.

    The only way they can force these folks out (most who are their indefinitely) is if they find they breached their terms (like have another residence) or are doing something illegal out of the property. Then they can evict them. That really is the only way.

    Then once they evict them, they can revamp the apartment and turn around rent it at market rate. So this guy went to illegal means to force tenants out and it bit him in the butt. But the means to which he stooped to is what got the District Attorneys attention and captured headlines.

    Link to Article

    ----------------------------------------------

    He's a renter's worst nightmare — an ex-cop authorities say regularly harasses and intimidates rent-stabilized tenants to force them out so their landlord can charge higher rent.

    His name is Anthony Falconite, and this week state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took the unusual step of slapping him with a “cease and desist” order, demanding he halt an increasingly aggressive campaign that’s crossed the legal line.

    In documents obtained by the Daily News, Schneiderman charges that Falconite has forced his way into apartments, snapped photos of tenants’ mail and belongings and repeatedly threatened them with eviction.

    Tenants say he’s followed them to and from work, confronting them at their jobs about where they really live. He has questioned family members and even tenants’ children. He’s pretended to be a maintenance worker or a FedEx agent to get inside their apartments.

    Once in, he has rifled through drawers, taken photos of prescription medication and demanded Social Security numbers — all in a hard-core effort to terrorize tenants into accepting paltry buyouts or discover whether they have another address.

    Rent-stabilized apartments must be a tenant’s primary residence. If Falconite can prove a tenant lives elsewhere, the resident could be subject to eviction, freeing up a unit so the landlord can offer it at market rent.

    The cease-and-desist order served Wednesday demands that he stop this campaign of intimidation or face civil fines.

    Kristen Clarke, chief of the AG’s civil rights bureau, alleges that Falconite “engaged in a pattern of unlawful intimidation, deception and harassing conduct,” the order states.

    Outside his Staten Island home Wednesday night, Falconite, 44, declined to answer questions, stating, “There’s nothing I’m charged with. I’m an ex-cop. I’m a hardworking guy. Don’t knock on my door, I have two kids.”

    The order says the AG has “received and carefully reviewed numerous complaints about (Falconite’s) work on behalf of landlords — including Steven Croman — who owns and operates rent-regulated housing in Manhattan.”

    Croman, 47, a multimillionaire Manhattan socialite, has said he owns more than 100 buildings in Manhattan. He’s been repeatedly accused by tenants of using high-pressure tactics to force them to leave so he can convert apartments to market rates.

    They say he regularly files frivolous lawsuits, ignores repair requests and does construction work that spreads clouds of toxic dust into their apartments.

    “In a community with a lot of landlord-tenant disputes, he stands out,” said Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Manhattan), who has fielded dozens of tenant complaints.

    Schneiderman says Falconite is an integral part of that campaign, alleging that he has “coordinated with landlords to offer buyouts under circumstances meant to coerce tenants into vacating the property.”

    Croman executive Oren Goldstein called Falconite “a licensed professional. He served New York City for 17 years as a police officer, firefighter and fire marshal and retired with over 100 commendations for excellence and meritorious service. In all of his dealings with us, he has acted professionally and consistent with legal requirements.”

    Tenants have a different view. In several Croman buildings, they’ve distributed leaflets with his photo warning, “Tenants beware! Do not let this man into your apartment!”

    “He said ‘I am a private investigator’ and he reaches to his waist like when the policeman is going to grab a gun,” said tenant Nelida Godfrey. She said Falconite twice tried to force his way into her $2,350-a-month, 2-room apartment in Greenwich Village. The 54-year-old said during his second visit he grabbed for her phone when she began taping their increasingly hostile exchange.

    “He said, ‘Don’t take pictures of me,’ ” she said. “I’m a little afraid because I confront him. Maybe I shouldn’t.”

    One tenant who wished to remain anonymous recalled how Falconite and a property manager arrived at the doorstep shortly after Croman bought the E. Eighth St. building in the East Village. The tenant pays $1,250 for a small 435-square-foot, one-bedroom where one-beds go for $1,900.

    “He kind of made it seem he was there under the guise of fixing things that needed to be fixed,” the tenant said.

    But when they entered the apartment, they began asking questions about the plans. “The first thing was, ‘Do you want a buyout? Do you want a buyout?’ ” the tenant added.

    After the tenant asked them to leave because of a prior appointment, Falconite pressured the resident to let him back in while the tenant was absent. The tenant refused. “I was aware of how they operate,” the tenant said.
     
  2. Attic

    Attic Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4,284
    Likes Received:
    1
    What the banks did leading up to and after the GFC should draw your attention more than this. This is small stuff.

    Obama's thugs are too busy going after whistleblowers and freedom fighters like Aaron Swartz and Edward Snowden to have sent a single big banker involved in banking fraud leading to the GFC to jail.
     
  3. Zaap

    Zaap Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    Messages:
    6,677
    Likes Received:
    253
    "...rent-regulated housing in Manhattan."

    LOL. Seriously, I didn't know there was anyone left that didn't know rent-control schemes were really: "how fabulously wealthy people reserve for themselves the luxury of paying virtually nothing to live" schemes.

    You could probably count the total number of truly low income people able to live in wealthy areas thanks to rent control on one hand.
     
  4. Oldgamer

    Oldgamer Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    3,280
    Likes Received:
    1
    How is it that a wealthy real estate savvy person could go into such an agreement and not realize that this is what they are in for? I mean they know that the only way these people are going to leave is if they die, or they leave of their own accord. But to stoop to this kind of thing just makes them look like the "bad landlord" that everyone hates. So now they are in the news and that wonderful "Socialite" status they had makes them look like mud now.
     
  5. Braznor

    Braznor Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Messages:
    3,695
    Likes Received:
    2
    The guy's name is Falconite. It all figures.