The Daily Dirt: A sign of hope for LLC transparency?

Governor mentions “sham LLCs” during press conference

Kathy Hochul Signs Deed Theft Bill
Governor Kathy Hochul (Susan Watts/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul, Getty)

The governor signed a measure to protect homeowners. But another bill was hovering in the background.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signed a bill that ramps up protections against deed theft by creating more points of intervention for law enforcement. Officials can now halt evictions and foreclosure proceedings to prevent homeowners from being displaced while investigations probe whether the “new owner” acquired the property properly.

But during a press conference for the bill signing, Hochul mentioned the use of “sham LLCs” to perpetuate deed thefts. That got me thinking: Was this a nod to the LLC Transparency Act?

The governor’s office would not confirm that, but gave the stock answer that she is considering the measure.

Deed theft is listed among several justifications for the LLC Transparency Act, which was passed by the Senate and Assembly but has not yet been delivered to the governor’s desk. A memo for the bill states: “Deed theft, campaign finance violations, and bid rigging can be facilitated by anonymous LLCs. Anonymous LLCs hamper routine code enforcement, burdening local governments.”

The measure would require companies to provide the state with basic information about the people behind LLCs, including their names and the addresses of their businesses. This information would be available through a public database. Residential brokers criticized the measure, citing privacy concerns as a main motivator for many of their high-profile clients to use LLCs.

Then again, the penalty for failing to comply is $250. Not exactly a serious deterrent.

Maybe the governor’s LLC comment was simply a slip or an unrelated acknowledgement that such entities make it harder to track true ownership.

The fact that she did not sign that bill alongside the deed theft bill could also be viewed as a reluctance by the governor to approve the LLC measure. Or it could mean that she wants a separate bill signing ceremony for the LLC measure. Today’s comment could also mean nothing! If you can predict the future, let me know.

What we’re thinking about: Will other offices ditched by WeWork go residential? Send a note to  

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

A thing we’ve learned: The Baltimore Ravens are named after Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “The Raven.” Poe lived in Baltimore for some time and died in the city in 1849. The team’s mascot is a raven named Poe. I’m a sports person now.

Elsewhere in New York…

— Landlord David Daniel was arrested on charges that he stabbed two of his tenants and his girlfriend to death in his Queens home, the New York Times reports. Daniel turned himself in to police Tuesday morning and confessed to the killings.

— The mayor may use campaign donations to pay for his legal fees related to the federal probe … into his campaign fundraising, Gothamist reports. “It’s going to be a combination of out-of-pocket with me or whatever the law allows me to do,” Adams said during a press conference on Tuesday.

— Participation in parent-teacher conferences dropped 40 percent last year compared with the year before the pandemic, Chalkbeat reports. These conferences are often remote, leaving some families unable to make the meetings.

Closing Time

Residential: The priciest residential closing Tuesday was $5.4 million for a house at 96 Fort Greene Place in Brooklyn.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was $15.6 million for an office building at 9201 Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge.

New to the Market: The priciest residence to hit the market Tuesday was a condo at 100 Barclay Street in Tribeca asking $9 million. Dolly Lenz has the listing.

Breaking Ground: The largest new building filing of the day was for a 6,400-square-foot residence at 25 Coverly Avenue in the Emerson Hill neighborhood of Staten Island. — Jay Young