New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced last week the indictment of Dean Galasso on six felony charges for allegedly acquiring a 10-unit rental apartment building through a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud.
Schneiderman’s office investigated Galasso after receiving complaints from tenants that he was harassing them, according to a Crain’s New York report.
Galasso, who owns multiple properties in Manhattan and Queens, allegedly submitted falsified mortgage documents and a fake rent roll to Investors Bank to obtain a $5 million mortgage to acquire the Lower East Side rental building at 43 Essex Street.
“Bad landlords are now on notice: if you attempt to break the law, we will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” Schneiderman said. “Our task force will continue to identify, investigate and prosecute those who try to game the system.”
Galasso also allegedly produced fake leases in his building to support the falsified rent roll, which the bank used to grant the mortgage.
According to Lower East Side Patch, tenants of the building, who were mostly senior, Chinese-speaking residents, were subjected to poor living conditions. Heat and hot water were turned off for long periods of time, as well as cooking gas – evidence of the tenants’ claim that Galasso was trying to force them out of the building.
According to Schneiderman's office, Galasso faces 25 years in prison if convicted.
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A Manhattan landlord’s alleged poor treatment of his tenants has led to his indictment for a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud.