Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

NYC fraud investigation may bolster condo construction lawsuit

The sponsors and developers of condominiums have a responsibility to make good on agreed-upon construction projects, and shoddy work is no substitute for a completed job. Civil litigation is one way for condominium residents to hold building sponsors accountable for construction defects, and with allegations of particularly egregious failures, state law enforcement may actually get involved.

The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is currently investigating fraud allegations against two developers. The charges relate to the conversion of a former Broad St. office building into luxury condominiums. Residents of the building have also brought a lawsuit, claiming that promised amenities were never completed; the front sidewalk was never replaced; and leaks in the roof were not repaired.

A criminal investigation has the potential to bolster a civil claim, and that may be the case here. The attorney general characterized the actions of the building sponsors as "the very worst conduct by property developers."

The conversion of the building was supposed to be completed seven years ago, but three years after that, residents complained of faulty construction and unfinished work. The residents sued in 2010.

According to the attorney general, the developers also failed to obtain proper certification for the building, and control of the condo board has not been properly handed over to the residents. While the fraud investigation continues, the attorney general has temporarily banned the developers from conducting condo business in New York.

More details on the allegations can be found in the article we've linked to below.

For more on resolving disputes over condominium construction, please see our construction law website.

Source: Crain's New York Business, "Pair of big developers hit with temporary ban," Daniel Geiger, Feb. 28, 2014

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