Alleged fraud stalls Chetrit Group’s Garment District foreclosure

Chetrit Group’s Isaac Chetrit was defrauded out of ownership of a mortgage he bought on a Garment District office building, his attorney alleges.

Real Estate Weekly reported that when Isaac Chetrit purchased the distressed mortgage on a 60,000-square-foot office building at 315 West 35th Street for $10.75 million last year, he meant to file the transaction under an LLC called Mazel West 35. Instead, it was incorrectly recorded as Mazal 315 W35 LLC.

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Chetrit’s initial attempts to foreclose on the owner, Aaron Chetrik, who planned a condominium conversion, were delayed by the spelling mistake which was eventually corrected. Then, during the foreclosure case, a lawyer claimed that the misspelled entity, Mazal 315 W35, was a legitimate company and the rightful owner of the mortgage.

Chetrit’s lawyer, Stephen Meister, a principal at Meister Seelig & Fein, claims someone printed out the erroneous documents from the city’s online public records, added Yoseph Levin as the owner’s name and resubmitted them to the state — essentially, defrauding Chetrit. Some speculate it was all an effort by the initial owner, Aaron Chetrik, to stall the foreclosure. [REW]