Slumlords admit to terrorizing tenants to drive them out
Two Brooklyn slumlords admitted Tuesday to terrorizing rent-controlled tenants with dogs, packing the halls with drug addicts, and tearing down walls in order to push the renters out of the lucrative spaces.
As part of the plea deal, brothers Joel and Amron Israel will now have to cough up nearly $250,000 to the nine tenants they wronged around Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick in 2012 and 2013.
The two have six months to shell out the dough, or they could be sentenced to up to four years prison.
If they follow the rules, they’ll be sentenced to five years probation and 500 hours community service, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun said.
Both Amrom, 38, and Joel, 35, admitted to tearing down walls, leaving tenants without heat or hot water, allowing vermin to make themselves at home and inviting drug addicts to come get high in their hallways in order to drive people out.
They also admitted to paying goons to patrol the halls of the buildings with pitbulls.
The duo will also have to agree to a five-year-settlement plan with the Governor’s Tenant Protection Unit, prosecutors said.
“Landlords across Brooklyn should be put on notice by today’s felony guilty pleas that illegal actions they may take to harass and intimidate tenants in rent regulated apartments will not go unpunished,” said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Attorneys for both men will appear on their behalf in court in March.
“The Israels have chosen to put this matter behind them and are cooperating fully to ensure that the rights of their tenants are protected,” attorneys Kevin Keating and John Carman said in a statement.
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