Notorious attorney to lose Tribeca duplex

Lawrence Omansky’s attempt to shield assets ultimately exposed them

New York /
Apr.April 15, 2022 12:00 PM

Lawrence Omansky and 160 Chambers Street (LinkedIn/Lawrence Omansky, Google Maps, iStock)

A notorious attorney with a penchant for questionable real estate deals is about to lose his Tribeca duplex.

The sale, which has not been scheduled, would be the latest black mark in the troubled history of Lawrence Omansky, whose attempt to shield his home from creditors backfired — subjecting the home to bankruptcy proceedings.

Omansky had declared the apartment exempt from creditors in his 2018 bankruptcy filing. But Instead of keeping the residence, which Omansky valued at $1.5 million, he will settle for a cash payment of less than 10 percent of that amount, according to settlement documents filed by a bankruptcy trustee.

The imminent sale of the two-story penthouse at 160 Chambers Street, recently listed by financial liquidation firm MYC & Associates, will cap a 14-year legal saga in which Omansky borrowed millions of dollars backed by the building’s ground-floor commercial unit.

Omansky received a 100-year sweetheart lease on the space, allowing him to sublease at market rates for a tidy profit after he converted the building to a co-op in the late 1980s. A court later sided with the co-op board and curtailed Omansky’s lease on the unit, which by then had been leveraged.

With Omansky bankrupt, the co-op board is pursuing a lawsuit to remove liens against the ground-floor unit, which is held by an anonymous creditor registered as a corporation in the Bahamas. An attorney for the co-op board declined to comment on the case.

According to filings by the bankruptcy trustee, Omansky attempted to drain the equity from his duplex and a co-op unit he owned at 414 West 121st Street so none would be left for creditors — but did so by encumbering the property with debt through fraudulent transactions with family members.

The transactions took place a decade ago as signs of financial distress began to pop up around Omansky. The unit at 414 West 121st Street sold at a bankruptcy auction in June 2021, according to StreetEasy.

Omansky’s downfall began with a grisly incident in 2003 when he was accused of forcing the co-owner of a Chelsea residential building to give up his stake at knifepoint, and of stuffing his business partner between the floors of his Tribeca duplex. The business partner escaped with his life and Omansky was charged with kidnapping, but not convicted.

Omanksy did not reply to a request for comment.

In a settlement to end his bankruptcy litigation, he is expected to receive $125,000 in line with New York homestead laws, while losing a perch that he valued at a dozen times that amount.





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