A judge ruled today that landlord Steve Croman can stay out of prison until after the Jewish holidays.
Back in June, the notorious property owner with many Lower East Side holdings pleaded guilty to fraudulently refinancing loans and committing tax fraud. He reached a deal with the state AG to serve one year at Rikers Island and pay a $5 million fine. Croman was accused of unlawfully displacing rent stabilized tenants.
In court this morning, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Jill Konviser set a new court date of Oct. 3, meaning he’ll get to spend Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with his family. State attorneys objected to the delay. The postponement was requested by Croman’s high powered defense lawyer.
One tenant of a Croman building, Cynthia Chaffee, told the Daily News, “It’s outrageous because we spend so many holidays with no heat, no water. No gas service. You name it… He gets to spend his whole summer in Southampton… It’s a slap in the face to tenants.”
Wasim Lone of the LES housing group GOLES was among those in the courthouse today. GOLES is part of the Stop Croman Coalition. “We’ll be coming back,” Lone told New York Business Journal. “He’s a free man for now.”
Croman was arrested in May of 2016 and accused by the AG of conducting a long campaign of intimidation and harassment against his rent stabilized tenants. Prosecutors called the plea agreement, “a significant precedent in the effort to combat landlords who base their business model on the displacement of rent-stabilized tenants.”