Brooklyn slumlords Joel and Amrom Israel agreed to pay $350,000 to rent-stabilized tenants they harassed with pitbulls and forced to live without toilets or kitchen sinks.
By agreeing to the plea deal, which also carries five years of probation, the brothers avoid up to four years in prison – provided they pay up within six months. They confessed in Brooklyn Supreme Court to intimidating tenants at several Brooklyn rental properties, including 98 Linden Street in Bushwick, 300 Nassau Avenue in Greenpoint and 15 Humboldt Street in Williamsburg.
The Israel’s, who were indicted in 2015, paid people to intimidate the tenants with pitbulls and sledgehammers, and got others to throw parties in hallways. At 98 Linden Street, tenants in two apartments had to live without kitchens or bathrooms for 17 months when the landlords ripped out appliances and didn’t replace them.
The settlement payment of $250,000 will go straight to 10 tenants, and another $100,000 will go to the Tenant Protection Unit to help the tenants with further claims.
“We were living with rats and cats in my kitchen. Street cats would come inside,” one tenant told DNAinfo.
“The Israels have chosen to put this matter behind them and are cooperating fully to ensure that the rights of their tenants are protected,” the Israels’ attorneys Kevin Keating and John Carman said in a statement. [DNAinfo] — Konrad Putzier