From left: Stephen Meister and 315 West 35th StreetThe judge who presided over a fraud case involving Isaac Chetrit has recused himself and referred the case to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, the New York Observer reported.
Isaac Chetrit’s attorney, Meister Seelig & Fein principal Stephen Meister, had sent a letter to Justice Bernard Fried alleging Chetrit was defrauded by Benjamin Herbst. Meister accuses Herbst of counterfeiting the mortgage deed Chetrit owns for the 60,000-square-foot building at 315 West 35th Street in order to halt the foreclosure procedure against owner Aaron Chitrik.
As previously reported, Herbst is believed to have a long track record of forging deeds, which first came to light with this case. Chertrit had purchased the debt on the building last year for $10.75 million, but a typo on his part and the alleged counterfeiting has made it impossible for him to foreclose.
The lawsuit initially only named Chitrik, but then Herbst was added, at which point Fried decided to pass the case along.
“I am referring this matter to the Office of the District Attorney, for whatever action is deemed appropriate,” Justice Fried wrote in a letter to the DA last week. “In light of this referral, I am recusing myself from this case, effective immediately.”
Justice Melvin Schweitzer has since taken over the case, and Meister has continued to proceed with the foreclosure action against Chitrik. [NYO]