Alleged Ponzi schemer Cheskel Strulowitz facing foreclosure on BK portfolio

Maverick Real Estate Partners bought about $40M worth of distressed loans

TRD New York /
Oct.October 13, 2017 03:45 PM

Brooklyn investor Cheskel Strulowitz, who’s battling allegations of running a $90 million real estate Ponzi scheme, is facing foreclosure on a portion of a 31-property portfolio in the borough, court records show.

Maverick Real Estate Partners, which in March launched a $75 million private equity fund focused on acquiring distressed debt, purchased about $40 million worth of loans from Signature Bank in May backed by the 31 properties Strulowitz owns across Brooklyn, records filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court show.

Just a few days after acquiring the loans, Maverick sent Strulowitz notices informing him that the loans were in default, and the lender was requiring the balances to be immediately paid in full, court records show.

According to foreclosure documents Maverick’s attorneys filed earlier this week, Strulowitz went into default on the loans, in part, because he claimed to be the sole owner of the properties, but his own court filings say he owned less than 56 percent.

A handful of the properties facing foreclosure are the subject of case in Brooklyn Federal Court accusing Strulowitz of running a Bernie Madoff-style Ponzi scheme.

A group of Israeli investors claim they invested $20 million with Strulowitz and his partners to buy 20 properties throughout Brooklyn, as The Real Deal reported in April. But Strulowitz and his partners turned around and borrowed heavily against those properties to make other purchases of their own, the investors claim.

Documents that Strulowitz, who sometimes spells his name Chaskiel Strulovich, filed in the federal case attest that he only owns a portion of the properties backed by the Maverick loans, the private equity firm’s attorneys claim in court.

“Strulovitch in fact held less than a 56 percent interest in these approximately 20 real estate holding entities. . . .” court papers claim. “Such misrepresentations . . . constitute events of default as defined under the loan documents.”

Strulowitz and his attorneys did not respond to requests for comment. A representative for Maverick declined to comment.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
CIM Group’s Shaul Kuba, Knotel's Amol Sarva, Related Group’s Jorge Pérez and The Agency’s Mauricio Umansky (Getty, Sarva by Sasha Maslov, iStock)

These real estate companies got fat PPP loans

These real estate companies got fat PPP loans
The threat of eviction hangs heavily above immigrant families who have lost work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. (Getty)

Eviction bans don’t always protect the most vulnerable

Eviction bans don’t always protect the most vulnerable
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (Getty)

Real estate stocks benefit from second quarter rally

Real estate stocks benefit from second quarter rally
The Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue with a photo illustration of RFR's Aby Rosen (Getty, Google, iStock)

Aby Rosen to build sprawling gym in Seagram Building

Aby Rosen to build sprawling gym in Seagram Building
Square Mile Capital’s Craig Solomon and Hackman Capital Partner's Michael Hackman with Silvercup Studios at 42-22 22nd Street in Long Island City (Hackman; AAK via Wikipedia Commons)

Hackman, Square Mile in talks to buy Silvercup Studios

Hackman, Square Mile in talks to buy Silvercup Studios
A photo illustration of Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo from a scene in the film The Matrix (Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures; Quora)

“Our HQ will be in the cloud”: What if remote-first work is an opportunity, not a compromise?

“Our HQ will be in the cloud”: What if remote-first work is an opportunity, not a compromise?
Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks (Getty)

New York courts put the kibosh on foreclosures

New York courts put the kibosh on foreclosures
From left: Onay Payne, Jim Simmons, Margaret Anadu and Tammy Jones (Payne by Emily Assiran)

‘Your pedigree is always questioned’: Black real estate execs push for change

‘Your pedigree is always questioned’: Black real estate execs push for change
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...