The Real Deal New York

NYC landlord stole millions from tenants of
Westchester Trump Tower: suit

Frank Palazzolo, the condo board treasurer, is accused of siphoning off $8.7M
November 30, 2016 10:15AM

Trump Tower in Westchester (credit: Trump Organization)

Trump Tower in Westchester (credit: Trump Organization)

The condo board at Trump Tower in Westchester is suing its longtime treasurer, accusing him of using the building’s funds as his own “personal piggy bank.”

In a civil racketeering lawsuit filed with the Manhattan federal court on Monday, New York City landlord Frank Palazzolo is accused of stealing up to $8.7 million from the Westchester Trump Tower in White Plains over several years. According to the suit, the condo board says the building has been left “in a precarious financial position — unable to pay for basic service and exposed to significant litigation risk,” the New York Post reported. Palazzolo’s wife is named as a co-defendant.

Palazzolo — who runs several companies out of the Palazzolo Plaza in Scarsdale — is also accused of collecting more than $200,000 in utility payments from tenants, and then leaving the residents to pick up the tab. According to court documents, the condo board says Palazzolo moved money from the condo’s accounts into accounts that he controlled and that he used fake documents to cover his tracks. Palazzolo paid people to help him with the scheme, according to the suit, and a number of condo board members have been named as co-defendants.

The board alleges that Palazzolo used the money to make real estate investments, including buying three foreclosed units at Trump Tower in Westchester.

In 2010, two dozen Bronx tenants sued Palazzolo’s company Semper Fi Management 4, alleging there had been more than 1,000 building code violations at three separate rental buildings in the borough.

The Trump Tower at City Center has Trump branding, but is not owned, developed or sold by Donald Trump. [NYP]Miriam Hall