‘Crook’ land­lord goes wild in Hamp­tons

New York Post - - NEWS - by Page Six’s Emily Smith Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Jen­nifer Gould Keil

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 rentsta­bi­lized apart­ments.

Dis­graced real-es­tate mogul Steven Cro­man, who was busted Mon­day, 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.

As Page Six re­ported, in 2013 they turned the Surf­side Drive spread in Bridge­hamp­ton into their own ver­sion of Stu­dio 54 — com­plete with fake lines of co­caine and phony pills for guests, and a per­for­mance by leg­endary disco band Chic.

Guests in­cluded CBS 2 news an- chor Chris Wragge, tele­com mogul Michael Hirten­stein, ad-exec-turned-TV-per­son­al­ity Donny Deutsch and CNN boss Jeff Zucker.

The fol­low­ing year, they recre­ated Hugh Hefner’s famed Play­boy Man­sion, in­clud­ing a replica of the “grotto” swim­ming pool and a full­sized, Play­boy-theme bou­tique.

That shindig drew celebs in­clud­ing TV chef Katie Lee (Billy Joel’s ex-wife) and Scott Disick, Kourt­ney Kar­dashian’s for­mer beau.

Last year, sources said, the Cro­mans re­placed the ritzy ren­tal with their own, cus­tom-built mega-man­sion in Sa­gaponack, which boasts the na­tion’s prici­est ZIP code for real es­tate. Mean­while, they’re wait­ing to move into a for­mer apart­ment build­ing at 12 E. 72nd St. that is be­ing con­verted into the city’s largest man­sion, with more than 19,000 square feet of liv­ing space spread over eight floors — six above ground and two be­low.

Ren­o­va­tion plans in­clude an el­e­va­tor and swim­ming pools on the roof and in one of the base­ments, sources said.

Cro­man bought the build­ing for $5.5 mil­lion in 2002, then spent years re­mov­ing the ten­ants from 23 rent-sta­bi­lized apart­ments.

The cou­ple has a col­lege-age son, Jake Cro­man, for whom there’s even a Web site — jake­cro­ — 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 San­ders.

“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.

Cro­man’s lawyer, Ben Braf­man, who on Mon­day said he would re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions in a “re­spon­si­ble fash­ion,” de­clined to com­ment.

TAKE & SPEND: Real-es­tate mogul Steven Cro­man, with wife Har­riet, faces charges in an al­leged $45 mil­lion fraud scheme — money that may have funded mega­parties at their Bridge­hamp­ton pad (top), with disco or Play­boy themes (in­set), as well as spoil­ing no­to­ri­ous son Jake (in­set right).

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