UPDATED, 4:47 pm, June 1: Steve Croman, whose conviction last year marked the toughest penalty meted out to a landlord in recent memory, walked out of jail Friday.
Croman’s official release date from the Manhattan Detention Complex in Lower Manhattan is Sunday, June 3. He served eight months of a one-year jail sentence after pleading guilty in October to tax- and mortgage-fraud charges.
“Anyone who gets a one-year sentence gets released after 2/3 of the sentence is served,” Benjamin Brafman, Croman’s criminal-defense attorney, wrote in an email to The Real Deal. “It’s the law for city jail sentences.” Brafman said his client was let out Friday.
Croman plans to “relax and spend time with family” upon his release, Brafman said he’s been told.
Croman, who owns a large portfolio of multifamily buildings through his company 9300 Realty, pleaded guilty last June to inflating rent rolls in order to secure larger mortgages for his properties.
Though he went to jail on those fraud charges, Croman first came under the watchful eye of state investigators who were looking into claims of tenant harassment at his buildings.
In a separate civil case regarding those harassment claims, Croman agreed to pay a record $8 million settlement with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, which also prosecuted him in criminal court.
Schneiderman built a reputation for himself by aggressively going after landlords. But his career came to an end last month after he resigned amid allegations that he had physically and emotionally abused romantic partners.
Clarification: This story was updated to indicate that though Croman’s release date was Sunday, June 3, he was let out Friday, June 1.