Two years ago, a gas explosion destroyed three buildings on Second Avenue in the East Village and killed two people. Now, Maria Hrynenko, the owner of the lots the buildings once occupied, is looking to sell. But lawyers for the victims say their settlements could hang in the balance.
Hrynenko — who faces second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and reckless endangerment charges — could sell her property for around $12 million. A neighboring lot sold to Ezra Obowo for $6 million last year. Now, a broker working with Hrynenko has contacted Obowo on behalf of a buyer looking to buy all three lots, according to the Post.
If a sale happens, lawyers are concerned that the victims of the blast who lost their homes will not receive compensation.
“Let’s say she sells the property and takes the cash and stashes it away in the Canary Islands, there’s no way for us to recoup that,” Marius Wesser, a lawyer for Machendra Chongbang, who was badly injured in the blast, told the Post.
“You know what they’re going to say is ‘I went to Atlantic City and blew it.’ If you can’t find the money, what good does it do the litigants?” Michael Manoussos, a lawyer for Paolo Cardoza, who was also injured in the explosion, said. [NYP] —Christopher Cameron