Landlord Indicted for Mortgage Fraud Scheme at 43 Essex Street, Faces 25 Years

Posted on: April 7th, 2017 at 5:15 am by
galasso-mug-shot

Photo: New York Attorney General’s Office

The dominoes continue to fall…

Local landlord Dean Galasso was indicted yesterday for six felony charges in a scheme to fraudulently obtain a multi-million dollar mortgage to buy 43 Essex Street (formerly home to G&S Sporting Goods), Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced.

He’s being charged with submitting bogus documents to a bank, including a phony rent roll, to secure a $5 million mortgage to purchase the Lower East Side tenement. Galasso allegedly forged leases for several apartments in the ten-unit rent stabilized building to support the false information in the rent roll. This info was then used to mislead the bank that he’d be making enough to justify the loan.

Galasso, 49, faces one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a Class B Felony, two counts of Forgery in the Second Degree, Class D Felonies, two counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Class D Felonies, and one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a Class E Felony. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.

This indictment resulted from an investigation led by the two-year-old Tenant Harassment Prevention Task Force.

gs-essex-1

“Bad landlords are now on notice: if you attempt to break the law, we will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” Schneiderman said in a public statement. “Our task force will continue to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who try to game the system.”

“These felony charges should serve as a reminder to bad landlords in the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and throughout my Council District that fraud and tenant abuse come with serious consequences, including jail time,” said Councilwoman Margaret Chin. “I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for leading this joint state and city effort to hold this landlord, and others seeking to game the system, accountable for their actions.”

There was also a civil suit against Galasso that settled back in December.  As previously reported, residents filed the lawsuit two years prior, after the landlord assumed a campaign of harassment, deploying myriad deplorable strategies including hiring tenant relocator Michel Pimienta. All this with the same old end game of making lives intolerable (e.g. no cooking gas for a year), and forcing out the rent regulated.

Recent Stories

Sauce on the Sidelines for Another Month (at Least)

Still on the sidelines, Sauce might soon return. Workers busy with renovations inside the Rivington Street restaurant said to expect a reopening sometime “next month.” Given the apparent state of the interior, though, that seems ambitious. You’ll recall that a kitchen fire at the end of December knocked out the locals favorite (Monday nights half […]

‘Spreadhouse Cafe’ Closes After 5 Years on Suffolk Street

Spreadhouse Cafe is no more. The establishment closed down last week after spending five years at 116 Suffolk Street. A two-by-three grid of graphic printouts – featuring an image of Bartman in pose – announces the closure (“for now”) and to “stay tuned” for whatever might be next. So far, there are no updates on […]

With Kushner Likely Out, Hotel on Rivington Listed for $70M

It would appear that Kushner Companies is no longer under contract to purchase the Hotel on Rivington. The firm had entered into an agreement to acquire the twenty-story glass eyesore last November for $65 million. Six months later, the real estate firm filed a complaint in New York Supreme Court demanding that hotel ownership (Paul […]

Art Pigeon of Elizabeth Street Garden Stars in Next Season of HBO’s The Deuce

When both sides of the street are lined with 1970s gas-guzzlers, it could only mean one thing. HBO’s The Deuce is filming in the ‘hood. Viewers flocked to the first and second season of the Time Square series for a look at the seedier side of the city. Now that the show is transitioning into […]

Landlord Raphael Toledano Settles Harassment Lawsuit for $3M and Other Penalties

Controversial landlord Raphael Toledano, long a perpetrator of harassment in his residential properties, must now pay the piper. Attorney General Letitia James yesterday announced a settlement with Toledano for $3 million in damages and penalties. An independent monitor will also oversee his real estate holdings to ensure fraud and harassment has ceased. Nor is he […]