Harlem developer permanently barred from condo sales

Attorney General's ban of Joseph Scarpinito latest turn in probe of Mirada condominium
October 14, 2014 01:20PM

The developers of the Mirada condominium in Harlem have been barred from selling condo or co-op units as part of a settlement over fraud charges, according to a spokesperson for the New York Attorney General’s office.

Joseph Scarpinito is permanently barred from the securities industry, while his partner Shiraz Sanjana is banned for 16 months. They owe $500,000 in penalties and fines to the state. The developers already were hit with a temporary ban of sales in December.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s real estate finance bureau concluded its investigation into the events at the eight-story building at 161 East 110th Street.

Schneiderman filed suit against real estate lawyer Harold Gruber and the developers amid allegations that Scarpinito failed to fix more than $3 million in construction defects and presented his own mother as the actual developer of the project, as previously reported.

In April, Gruber was permanently banned from representing condo or co-op developments after an investigation found that he submitted at least nine false filings connected to the Mirada.

“Our laws protect purchasers of real estate securities, including condominiums and co-operatives, by requiring sellers to make important disclosures to investors,” Schneiderman said in a statement.  “The identities and business backgrounds of the people who make or take part in developing and selling a condo is a material fact that a purchaser has a legal right to know.  There is one set of rules for everyone, and my office will protect the rights of purchasers and punish unscrupulous developers.” — Mark Maurer