Landlord’s hit on 20 charges
Avenue P. The impact hurled the Infiniti into the cyclist, who was pinned beneath it. The cars then slammed into a parked vehicle.
“The Honda lost control and swerved into the Infiniti. People started pushing the car off him,” said Jake Sabba, 16. “He was choking and went into shock.”
The cyclist was taken to New York Community Hospital but couldn’t be saved. NOTORIOUS LANDLORD Steve Croman was hit Monday with a 20-count indictment and a civil suit related to his long-running campaign to harass rent-stabilized tenants into fleeing so he can jack up the rent.
Croman, who owns 140 apartment buildings across Manhattan, has long been the target of a criminal probe by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
A grand jury indicted Croman (below) and his mortgage broker, Barry Swartz, on multiple felonies charging they lied about rental income to get more than $45 million in favorable mortgages.
The civil lawsuit alleges Croman routinely used threats, intimidation and bogus lawsuits to harass rent-protected tenants so they’d leave.
Schneiderman called Croman “the Bernie Madoff of landlords,” adding, “My office will not tolerate anyone who attempts to line their own pockets by gaming the system. No one is above the law — no matter how rich or powerful.”
Croman is a regular on the black-tie circuit and living it up in the Hamptons — buffing an image contrary to the source of his wealth.
Most of the rent-stabilized buildings he targets are in gentrifying neighborhoods such as the Lower East Side, where rents have rocketed and lower-income tenants have been squeezed out.
A key player in Croman’s campaign is an ex-NYPD cop, Anthony Falconite, who used shady tactics to gain entry to apartments and falsely accused tenants of breaking rent-control rules, the suit charges.
In emails, Croman referred to the former cop as his “secret weapon.” Falconite’s role was first disclosed by the Daily News last year. On Wednesday he was also hit with a civil suit.
In one exchange, Falconite dubbed the push to remove rent-stabilized tenants from Croman buildings “a team sport.” Croman was released on $500,000 cash bail.
Scene at Avenue P and E. 12th St. in Brooklyn, where bicyclist was killed.