Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Owner for Illegal Deregulation

A new class action lawsuit was recently filed against Steve Croman, who is serving jail time for mortgage and tax fraud. The complaint alleges that Croman wrongfully removed nearly 70 percent of the units at 326-340 East 100th Street from New York’s rent stabilization program. At the same time, he was receiving the J-51 tax break, which requires owners to keep 100 percent of their units rent stabilized.

The proposed lawsuit alleges that all tenants of the building post-Jan. 8, 2014, are entitled to rent refunds. Last month, Croman agreed to pay a record $8 million to tenants he harassed, according to the New York State Attorney General’s office. The agreement settled a civil case that accused Croman of coercing and tricking tenants into leaving their rent-stabilized apartments. Croman is currently serving a one-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to felony charges of grand larceny, tax fraud, and a fraud charge stemming from filing a false instrument. The scheme included inflating rent rolls in order to secure bigger mortgages.