“Daily News: Sleazy Landlord Must Pay $8M to Tenants he Harassed, Cheated Under Deal with State AG”
December 21, 2017
As published by The New York Daily News, on December 20, 2017.
One of the most notorious landlords in recent New York City history agreed Wednesday to an unprecedented deal that includes $8 million in restitution to tenants he harassed and ripped off.
Steven Croman, who is serving one year in jail for tax and mortgage fraud, arranged the deal with State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman following an investigation into his systematic harassment of rent-regulated tenants.
The agreement represents the largest-ever settlement with an individual landlord. As part of the deal, more than 100 Croman properties will be run by new independent management and a monitor will oversee the sleazy landlord’s compliance for seven years. Croman will pay for the monitor.
He also paid $5 million in connection with his criminal case.
“Over and over again, Steven Croman acted as though he was above the law, putting profits before his tenants’ safety and well-being,” Schneiderman said.
The new deal also requires that an ex-NYPD cop who acted as Croman’s muscle, Anthony Falconite, stay away from tenants in Croman-owned buildings.
“We are pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable settlement with the Attorney General to end the ongoing inquiry into our business,” a Croman rep said.
“We look forward to working with his office to implement the terms of our agreement and continuing to provide quality rental housing throughout New York City.”
Those who lived in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment owned by Croman between July 1, 2011, and December 2017 are potentially eligible.
Cynthia Chaffee, a Manhattan tenant who says she’s long endured Croman’s harassment and neglect, was “very pleased with the outcome.”
The rent stabilized 18th Street resident helped create a tenant coalition against Croman in 2007.
“We feel justice has finally been served,” Chaffee, 65, said, adding, “we’ll be able to live in peace.”