The Real Deal New York

Massey Knakal hit with licensing complaint

State agency claims brokerage failed to properly license officers including Ken Krasnow

August 05, 2011 05:34PM
By Adam Pincus

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From left: Kenneth Krasnow of CB Richard Ellis and Daniel Hagan, Cory Rosenthal, Michael Wlody, Robert Knakal and Paul Massey, all of Massey Knakal

The New York State agency tasked with overseeing real estate licenses, the
Department of State, served commercial real estate firm Massey Knakal Realty
Services this week with a complaint alleging violations including failure to
supervise a former managing director of the Brooklyn office and for failing to
properly license three corporate officers as real estate brokers, according to the
complaint provided by the agency (see complaint below).

The complaint seeks penalties including the revocation or suspension of the
company’s licenses held by Paul Massey, the CEO, and Robert Knakal, the chairman, as well as fines, although
an amount was not stated. Insiders noted that despite the complaint stating a
demand for a revocation or suspension of licenses, the actual penalties often
wind up being far less severe.

Massey Knakal, founded in 1988 by Massey and Knakal, has one of the largest
investment sales forces in the city with 76 brokers, agents and associates and
earlier this year branched into retail leasing and commercial mortgage brokerage, with additional personnel.

The complaint follows an investigation opened after a February 2011
article in The Real Deal
reported that Kenneth Krasnow, then the company’s
managing director of the Brooklyn office, did not hold a real estate license in New
York.

The complaint, dated May 9, 2011, but served Aug. 1 alleges that Krasnow was
managing director of the Brooklyn and Queens offices despite not holding a
license between Oct. 6, 2008 and Feb. 14, 2011. An individual who supervises
agents in brokerage matters is required to have a real estate license, according
to the DOS.

In addition, the state’s inquiry discovered that three individuals — Daniel Hagan,
vice president of special assets; Cory Rosenthal, vice president of executive
operations; and Michael Wlody, CFO — held corporate offices at Massey Knakal
with salesperson’s licenses, not brokers’ licenses, as required. Hagan, Rosenthal and Wlody weren’t immediately available for comment.

“By allowing respondent Krasnow to act as a broker in a supervisory role without
being properly licensed, respondent Knakal and respondent Massey have…
demonstrated untrustworthiness and/or incompetency,” the agency complaint
said, following standard language used in such documents.

The next step in the process is a hearing, but a spokesperson for the state did
not immediately know if a date had been set.

Knakal referred questions to Massey, who declined to comment. Krasnow did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.

In June 2010, the DOS fined the Corcoran Group $70,000 for allowing 79 brokers and agents to work despite licensing irregularities. Since
2009, the state has fined firms more than $200,000.

In May, CB Richard Ellis announced that Krasnow was tapped to lead its offices
in Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale
. CBRE did not immediately
respond to a request for comment.

Massey Knakal DOS complaint

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