Monday, May 16, 2016

'Page Six' Piles On After Notorious NYC Landlord Gets Busted; Schadenfreude Fills The Air As Mogul's Critics Can Barely Contain Their Glee

In New York City, the New York Post's Page Six gossip column reports:
  • The “Bernie Madoff of landlords” has been living it up while running what authorities say is a $45 million mortgage-fraud scheme and using an ex-cop enforcer to scare his tenants out of their rent-stabilized apartments.

    Disgraced real-estate mogul Steven Croman, who was busted [last week], and his wife, Harriet, are infamous for throwing lavish, over-the-top parties at their Hamptons summer getaway — which sources said cost them nearly $700,000 in rent one season.
    ***
    The couple has a college-age son, Jake Croman, for whom there’s even a Web site — jakecroman.com — devoted to cataloging negative videos and news reports about the “world class d—-ebag,” including him caught in a profanity-laden video berating an Uber driver.

    Another Croman son celebrated his bar mitzvah under the giant blue whale model at the Museum of Natural History several years ago, sources said. The event featured a sumptuous feast, free-flowing booze and a performance by singer Ariana Grande, who was paid $500,000 to appear.

    Sources familiar with the Cromans could barely contain their glee at Steven’s arrest on charges filed by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

    They are super-obnoxious. They have no class,” one source said. “They are very lavish people. They are not low-key. They brought it upon themselves.”

    Another source said that Harriet was “keeping her cool” and Steven was downplaying the charges against him, which Schneiderman called “the most serious . . . brought against a bad landlord in anyone’s living memory,” while comparing him to Ponzi king Bernie Madoff.

    “She is acting like everything is fine. He is acting like he didn’t do anything wrong,” the source said.

    Croman, 49, was busted along with mortgage broker Barry Swartz, 53, on more than a dozen counts of grand larceny, scheme to defraud and other charges.

    Croman — whose real-estate portfolio includes 140 buildings — is accused of filing fraudulent paperwork that inflated his rental income so he could score bank loans.

    He also allegedly employed an NYPD ex-cop, Anthony Falconite, as his “secret weapon” to help strong-arm tenants out of rent-stabilized apartments so he could raise the rents.

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