A development company co-owned by the head of the Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus will pay nearly $233,000 in fines and penalties for breaking rent-leveling requirements in Queens, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Rent-stabilization laws exist to protect tenants, and we will not let landlords or developers circumvent them,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement on Monday.
“The agreements announced today affirm my office’s commitment to promoting access to safe, affordable housing for all New Yorkers. This is a notice to all bad actors seeking to take advantage of tenants: Not on my watch.”
Tushur Development LLC, the sponsor of the Millennium 99 Condominium at 63-36 99th Street in Rego Park, is owned by Yan and Vlad Moshe – the former who is the founder and chairman of HRH.
According to the NY AG’s Office, the LLC “failed to treat certain tenants in the building as rent-stabilized and overcharged multiple tenants by thousands of dollars each.”
The Moshes were also accused of trying to illegally evict tenants out of a unit for non-payment of rent when they were actually owed a refund of $22,042, officials said.
As a result, Tushur Development will pay $159,592 in restitution to be used by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to provide affordable housing, $43,066 to tenants that were illegally overcharged, and a $30,000 penalty, along with lowering the rents of certain units and discontinuing any eviction proceedings against the overcharged tenants.
HRH has been slugging it out with BMC Hospital LLC for months to determine the next operator of the Bayonne Medical Center, currently owned by CarePoint Health, with calls for intervention from the New Jersey Department of Health going unheeded for now.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that BMC Hospital President Wayne Hatami took aim at Moshe over the NY AG’s announcement.
“Yesterday’s announcement from the New York Attorney General that Yan Moshe admittedly overcharged tenants in New York shows that he is willing to disregard the law and exploit the most vulnerable,” Hatami said this afternoon.
“This troubling development should disqualify Yan Moshe from operating Bayonne Medical Center, especially in view of the serious allegations he already faces including insurance fraud and shoddy infection control protocols at his surgery centers that may have exposed people to HIV and hepatitis.”
HRH previously called allegations that one of Moshe’s surgery centers led to an HIV infection as “libelous disparagement” that will lead to a pursuit of legal options.
The two Hudson County medical centers have also traded shots over bold allegations made by Geico in separate claims made in New York federal court.
In response, HRH spokesman Ron Simoncini pointed out that Hatami’s business partners admitted to wrongdoing in the Geico litigation, also claiming that resorting to pot shots was a clear sign of desperation.
“Hatami’s frustration over not being able to enrich himself at the expense of the public and its health are causing him to smear HRH and its principals in a desperate attempt to appear to be a better choice to succeed CarePoint in operating Bayonne Medical Center,” Simoncini said.
“Hatami’s direct entreaties for intercession from the Department of Health and the courts have all ended abruptly and in failure, as these institutions clearly recognize Hatami’s motivations and BMC Hospital LLC’s insufficiency and inadequacy under the law.”