Manhattan landlord Steve Croman – under investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman since 2014 for alleged tenant harassment – surrendered to authorities Monday, and will face criminal charges.
Croman, who owns 140 buildings across the city, is accused of repeatedly harassing and intimidating rent-regulated tenants at his buildings, seeking to drive them out so they could be replaced with market-rate renters.
The specific charges against Croman haven’t yet been disclosed. Anthony Falconite – a former New York Police Department officer who worked for Croman, allegedly lying about his identity to gain access to residents’ units and subsequently falsely accusing them of violating rent-control rules – was also served with a civil suit Wednesday connected to the alleged harassment, the New York Daily News reported.
Internal emails filed with the suit showed Croman and his associates referring to tenants as “targets,” and called the process of allegedly forcing them out a “team sport.”
The landlord is also accused of undertaking disruptive renovations around rent-regulated tenants, often without permits, ignoring stop-work orders and exposing his residents to noise and lead-tainted dust, the Daily News reported. Croman has also allegedly ignored legitimate requests for renovations, and has been sued by the city a total of six times for allegedly lying about having fixed violations. [NYDN] – Ariel Stulberg