UPDATED, 10:19 a.m., April 14: Architect-turned-developer Peter Moore is banned from offering or selling real estate securities in New York state for six months, as part of a settlement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the AG’s office said today.
Schneiderman’s investigation found that Moore, whose firm Peter Moore Associates specializes in Lower Manhattan residential developments, failed to register several syndication offerings at a six-story Tribeca condo project at 39 Lispenard Street, also known as 332 Canal Street. Lacking approval, Moore solicited investors for the unregistered syndications, and then hired Town Residential to market the project, the AG’s office said.
Developers can use syndicated funds to build a project, as well as to persuade lenders to provide financing for it. Syndications lead to ownership of a condominium unit. The Martin Act, a law that regulates securities, requires that the developer file prospectuses with the AG’s office before providing those prospectuses to prospective buyers and investors. Schneiderman found that Moore violated the act.
“Promoters of real estate investments need to follow the rules and if they don’t, they will be held accountable,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “The Martin Act provides necessary protections to all investors, including homebuyers seeking to purchase a condominium unit. Thanks to our settlement, Mr. Moore will take steps to ensure this important law is upheld, or face permanent consequences.”
In addition to the six-month ban, Moore agreed to pay a $50,000 fine and make all required syndication filings. If he were to violate the settlement, he would be permanently barred from the industry.
A representative for the AG’s office said Town agreed to pay $7,500 to reimburse some of the costs of the investigation, and to continue to educate its brokers about the Martin Act.
In response, a Town spokesperson said the residential brokerage “did not pay the Attorney General any fine or penalty and the matter is closed. There was no wrongdoing on behalf of Town and other than that we cannot comment.”
Richard Newman, attorney for Moore, declined to comment on account of having not yet reviewed the settlement.
Moore, who controls 39 Lispenard Project LLC, will now have to file an offering plan with the AG’s office before delivering condominium unit deeds to existing investors or offering any additional apartments for sale.
Moore largely faded from view after his proposed 540-unit Greenwich Village condominium project fell into foreclosure during the recession. He and other investors owed $108 million on a building loan mortgage and a project loan mortgage. The property, at 627 Greenwich Street, went up for auction in 2012.