Harlem developer permanently barred from condo sales

Attorney General's ban of Joseph Scarpinito latest turn in probe of Mirada condominium

Eric Schneiderman and 161 East 110th Street in Harlem
Eric Schneiderman and 161 East 110th Street in Harlem

The developers of the Mirada condominium in Harlem have been barred from selling condo or co-op units as part of a settlement over fraud charges, according to a spokesperson for the New York Attorney General’s office.

Joseph Scarpinito is permanently barred from the securities industry, while his partner Shiraz Sanjana is banned for 16 months. They owe $500,000 in penalties and fines to the state. The developers already were hit with a temporary ban of sales in December.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s real estate finance bureau concluded its investigation into the events at the eight-story building at 161 East 110th Street.

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Schneiderman filed suit against real estate lawyer Harold Gruber and the developers amid allegations that Scarpinito failed to fix more than $3 million in construction defects and presented his own mother as the actual developer of the project, as previously reported.

In April, Gruber was permanently banned from representing condo or co-op developments after an investigation found that he submitted at least nine false filings connected to the Mirada.

“Our laws protect purchasers of real estate securities, including condominiums and co-operatives, by requiring sellers to make important disclosures to investors,” Schneiderman said in a statement.  “The identities and business backgrounds of the people who make or take part in developing and selling a condo is a material fact that a purchaser has a legal right to know.  There is one set of rules for everyone, and my office will protect the rights of purchasers and punish unscrupulous developers.” — Mark Maurer