Released from Prison, Croman Now Faces Contempt of Court Charge
Controversial landlord and convicted felon Steve Croman completed his “white collar” sentence on Friday, two days early, having served eight months of his one-year jail sentence. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to three felonies related to tax- and mortgage-fraud, and spent that time in the Manhattan Detention Center Complex (instead of maximum-security Rikers Island as per the initial judgement). Fresh out of prison, he now faces separate “contempt of court” charges related to embattled tenants at 141 Ridge Street.
As previously reported, 141 Ridge Street has been without cooking gas since last September due to purported unauthorized work on the gas lines. Residents organized, and began withholding rent payments as a means of forcing action. As a result of the rent strike, though, team Croman (9300 Realty) instead leveled a “nonpayment case.”
Legal counsel for the tenants association responded last Thursday with a filing for “contempt of court” against the landlord.
Per the media advisory:
An Order to Show Cause for contempt of court against notorious New York City landlord and now convicted felon Steven Croman was signed [Thursday] by a Manhattan Housing Court judge. Croman, who is currently incarcerated at the Manhattan Detention Center on unrelated charges, is due to appear in court on June 12, 2018 to answer the contempt complaint.
The contempt motion, filed and returnable in front of Judge Michelle Schreiber, was brought on behalf of the 141 Ridge Street Tenants Association. Tenants in this building filed an HP action on January 30, 2018 after they had been without cooking gas for more than four months. Cooking gas was turned off on September 18, 2017 at 141 Ridge Street, Manhattan, by Consolidated Edison after the utility company discovered illegal [gas] piping at the building; these findings were referred to the New York City Department of Buíldings for further inspection and enforcement. After Croman did not comply with a New York City Housing Court Order to restore the cooking gas by May 16, 2018, the tenants, through their attorneys, filed a motion to hold Croman in contempt of the Court’s order. Híghlighted in that filing are records from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development that show there are currently 40 open violations for 141 Ridge street (aka 200 stanton street).
Croman, whose buildings are managed by 9300 Realty, is set to temporarily lose control of the majority of buildings in his portfolio due to a Consent Decree settlement with the New York State Attorney General’s Office in December 2017. That Consent Decree requires Croman to pay millions of dollars in fines to the State of New York as well as establish a multi-million dollar restitution fund for some of his past and present tenants.
Below is the filing: