The People of the State of New York v. Croman, et al.
Croman Tenant Restitution Fund
Index No. 450545/2016

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • You received a Notice because the defendants' records show you were the tenant of record of a rent-regulated apartment owned by Steven Croman, Croman Real Estate Inc., 9300 Realty Management Inc., 9300 Realty Inc., or the special-purpose limited liability real-estate entities over which Steven Croman exercises control (collectively, "Croman"), for some time between July 1, 2011 and December 20, 2017. 

    A tenant of record is any person(s) named on the lease for a unit in a property owned by Croman as a lessee(s) and/or any person(s) who is a party to a rental agreement and obligated to pay rent for the use or occupancy of a rent-regulated apartment in the property.  Tenant of record also include any person who remains in possession of a rent-regulated apartment in the property after his or her rental agreement has expired. 

  • The Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York ("NYAG") sued Steven Croman, Anthony Falconite, Croman Real Estate Inc., 9300 Realty Management Inc., 9300 Realty Inc., Falconite LLC, and the special-purpose limited liability real-estate entities over which Steven Croman exercise control alleging violations of city and state law for: unlawful tenant harassment; deceptive business practices; illegal construction practices; violation of city lead-safety laws;  violations of the Real Estate Broker Law; violations of Private Investigator Law; fraud; and violations of security deposit laws.

  • Specific allegations against the defendants include but are not limited to:

    • using false pretenses and deception to gain access to tenants’ apartments, filing baseless lawsuits against tenants, and serving tenants with false and deceptive rent demands and eviction threats;
    • routinely working without permits, violating stop-work orders, preventing government authorities from inspecting work sites, and making false statements to the Department of Buildings;
    • failing to protect tenants from lead-paint hazards, violating Department of Health orders to abate lead paint, misleading tenants about lead hazards in their buildings, and failing to provide tenants with required lead notices;
    • conducting tenant buyouts without real-estate brokers’ licenses;
    • demonstrating untrustworthiness and accepting compensation that is tied to the outcome of the Private Investigator’s investigation;
    • filing false instruments with the Department of Buildings, filing baseless lawsuits against tenants, serving tenants with false rent and eviction notices, and using false pretenses to gain access to tenants’ apartments; and
    • failing to place tenants’ security deposits in trust accounts, commingling tenants’ security deposits with the companies’ general funds, and unlawfully refusing to return security deposits to tenants.
  • Both the NYAG and the defendants desire to avoid costly and protracted litigation and have voluntarily agreed to resolve the lawsuit without adjudication of facts or law according to the terms set forth in the Consent Decree.  The Consent Decree is available on the Important Documents page.

  • To receive payment from the Croman Tenant Restitution Fund, you must meet both of the following eligibility requirements:

    1. you are or were a tenant named on a lease in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment owned by Steven Croman, and you lived in the apartment at some point between July 1, 2011 and December 20, 2017; and
    2. you did not receive a buyout of $20,000 or more, not including any amount that purported to cover rent or arrears. A “buyout” is a payment by Steven Croman or his employees or agents in exchange for a tenant’s agreement to give up the lease and vacate the apartment.

    Only tenants named on the lease are eligible for payment, but if you are in the process of contesting your status as a rent-regulated or rent-controlled tenant, and have asserted that you are entitled to a rent-stabilized lease, you may submit a Claim Form for consideration.

    The Claims Administrator or the NYAG may request that you submit additional information to evaluate your application.

  • Per the Consent Decree, the defendants have agreed to pay $8 million in four equal installments into the Croman Tenant Restitution Fund as restitution, to be distributed among eligible tenants who timely submit a completed Claim Form and Release.  

    Additionally, policies and procedures have been created to notify rent-regulated tenants and their permitted occupants of certain basic rights and insure the defendants’ future compliance with the Consent Decree and applicable laws, including rent regulation laws.  The Consent Decree is available on the Important Documents page. 

  • You are not required to participate in the claims process.  If you wish to participate, you must submit a completed, signed Claim Form and Release to the Claims Administrator by November 4, 2018.  Tenants should submit only one Claim Form per household.  

    Current tenants must submit a Claim Form and Release that is signed by every tenant currently on the lease or must explain why one or more tenants on the lease are unable to sign the Claim Form and Release.

    Former tenants are not required to have every former tenant sign the Claim Form and Release. 

    Only tenants named on the lease are eligible for payment, but if you are in the process of contesting your status as a rent-regulated or rent-controlled tenant, and have asserted that you are entitled to a rent-stabilized lease, you may submit a Claim Form for consideration. The Claims Administrator or the NYAG may request that you submit additional information to evaluate your application. 

     

    To download a Tenant Restitution Claim Form and Release, visit the Important Documents page. Your Claim Form and Release must be submitted by mail or email to the following address:

    Croman Tenant Restitution Fund
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91349
    Seattle, WA 98111
    Email: info@cromanrestitutionfund.com

  • Payments will be divided equally among eligible tenants who timely submit a completed Claim Form and Release.  Payments for one apartment will be divided equally among tenants named on the lease. 

  • If your claim is determined to be eligible, you will receive payments in installments over a period of approximately 38-42 months.  Please be aware that it will take considerable time to process all claims.  We cannot estimate when payments will be issued or the amount of the payments until all claims are review and processed.  

  • Neither the NYAG nor the Claims Administrator can provide you with advice, legal or otherwise, concerning your rights and options in connection with this matter, and you are encouraged to consult a lawyer before submitting a claim.  

    If you are receiving public assistance, child support payments, or other types of financial aid, you are especially encouraged to consult with a lawyer regarding the potential impact of payments from the Croman Tenant Restitution Fund on any assistance you receive.  The following non-profit agencies provide legal assistance and answer questions about government benefits:
     

    Legal Services NYC
    Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    917-661-4500
    www.legalservicesnyc.org

    Legal Aid Society NYC
    Tuesday – Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    1-888-663-6880
    www.legalaidnyc.org

  • Confidentiality Notice: if your claim is determined to be eligible, only your name will be disclosed to Steven Croman.  All other information will remain confidential. 

  • If you have additional questions, please contact the Claims Administrator at the below address, by telephone at 1-833-898-4009, or via the form on the Contact Us page:

    Croman Tenant Restitution Fund
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91349
    Seattle, WA 98111
     

For More Information

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Mail

Croman Tenant Restitution Fund
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91349
Seattle, WA 98111