The New York State Attorney General May 9 announced the arrest and prosecution on 20 felony charges of property owner Steve Croman.
AG Eric Schneiderman said Croman’s companies were involved in an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain several multi-million dollar refinancing loans between 2012 and 2014. The notorious property owner also faces a civil lawsuit from the attorney general, who accuses him of illegal, fraudulent, and deceptive conduct in buildings throughout the city.
Asian Americans for Equality released the following statement regarding Croman’s arrest. Executive Director Chris Kui said:
The arrest of Steven Croman is a beacon of hope for all of those facing harassment from unscrupulous landlords across the city. This is a strong signal to property owners that business as usual is no longer the law of the land and forcing out tenants for the purposes of profit has serious consequences. In Chinatown and on the Lower East Side, AAFE sees and fights for more and more tenants everyday facing harassment and threats of eviction by these bad actors who are emboldened by the lack of real consequences. I commend Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for not taking the complaints of tenants lightly and for standing firmly on the side of those who have felt powerless and out gunned for so long.
The charges were filed against Croman and Barry Swartz, his mortgage broker. Schneiderman said during a news conference, “My message to unscrupulous landlords is simple: If you put your own profits over your tenants’ legal protections, we will investigate you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Many of Croman’s buildings are located on the Lower East Side and in Chinatown.