Suit: Murray Hill townhouse home to gambling, prostitution
Neighbors have been complaining about pot smoke, crowds, late-night parties
A nearly $7 million townhouse in Murray Hill has been turned into a “members only” club by “squatters” hosting prostitution, poker games and after-hours parties, according to published reports.
The New York Post says neighbors have been complaining about crowds, pot smoke and loud music emanating from the five-bedroom apartment in the East 36th Street building just off Park Avenue for more than a year.
And a man who lives in the building’s other apartment said he caught a half-naked stranger walking into his apartment on video.
Legal papers allege the problems started when tenant Patricia Taub sublet the $16,000-month, 3,000 square-foot apartment back in November of 2020.
Shortly thereafter, partiers started forming lines outside the building to get in, with one 311 call claiming two men were acting as bouncers to control the crowds.
Once inside, all bets are on, with complaints to the Department of Buildings alleging the premises are use “to host illegal poker games to host sex trafficking and prostitution activities, and to hold illegal after-hours parties,” the newspaper reports.
Videos on Instagram promoting parties at the home spotlight a poker table in the apartment along with black-painted walls.
Another social media post claimed a poker game held at the apartment would require a $1,000 minimum to play, with drinks and “talent” on site.
Legal papers allege Kenyatti Adams has lived in the apartment since April 2021. He admitted in court papers that he is a poker player but denied taking part in any illegal activities. The newspaper says he still lives in the Home, but is not paying rent due to a Covid-19 hardship.
A lawyer for Adams told the publication he was not a squatter, had paid rent in the past, and wasn’t involved in any illegal activities.
But lawyer Victor Feraru, who represents the apartment’s owner, Mitch Spaiser, said Adams was taking advantage of the system.
“This is a case of the most egregious abuse of New York’s tenant protection laws being wrongfully used by bad actors to manipulate and take advantage of the system at the expense of the owners,” he told the publication.
[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli