Published On: Mon, May 12th, 2014

Jeshayahu “Shaya” Boymelgreen’s Firm Owes $50 million In Court Judgments

After losing several court cases New York Developer Shay Boymelgreen now owes $50 million.

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New York real estate developer Shaya Boymlgreen has had quite a lot of legal troubles lately. A few weeks ago he and his partner, Lev Leviev of the Africa Israel Group, were ordered by a judge to turn over a luxury residential building at 15 Broad Street in lower Manhattan to its residents. The owners of units in the building which had already been sold sued the two claiming that work on it had not been finished and that they had not yet been provided the proper certificates of occupancy.

In 2012 the two were also accused of similar offenses with their nearby building at 20 Pine Street.

Born in Israel, Shaya Boymelgreen immigrated to the United States in 1969 and settled in New York. After owning Judaica bookstores, he began with some small real estate investments. He eventually formed Boymelgreen Developers which at one point had more than 200 employees and a portfolio worth more than $8 billion with properties across America.

In 2002 he began to do business with Lev Leviev and formed Leviev Boymelgreen

15 Broad Street Jeshayahu “Shaya” Boymelgreen,    Lev Leviev

Now Mr. Boymelgreen, 63, is facing a $1.2 million judgment against him in a lawsuit over his 68 unit River Lofts condominium at 416 Washington Street in Tribeca. And this comes after he claims that there are already judgments against him totaling $50 million.

In February, a former contractor on that project, William Setters, sued Boymelgreen and Africa Israel for what he claims was a severe injury that he suffered in a construction accident at River Lofts. According to Setters, Boymelgreen sold out its share of the project for more than $130 million in an illegal conversion of profits.

But Mr. Boymelgreen countered in court documents that he cannot pay the $1.2 million because his company suffered a series of “calamitous events” that have left him broke. He further claims that he will have a hard time proving his case because his company’s former offices at 750 Pacific Street in Brooklyn were taken by eminent domain about five years ago and that a majority of the company documents were lost during the eviction. Boymelgreen made this claim in a sworn affidavit. The eviction, according to Boymelgreen, came with only 12 hours notice to clear out and most of the company documents were lost.

416 Washington Street Jeshayahu “Shaya” Boymelgreen

In the affidavit he makes the further claim that, “additionally I suffered over $50 million in judgments. Thus I do not have funds to pay the accountants, or even to dissolve Boymelgreen Family.”

Boymelgreen was previously held in contempt in 2013 because he failed to respond to a subpoena from the plaintiffs requesting all financial and legal records related to Boymelgreen and Africa Israel.

For its part, Africa Israel claims not to have any money from the property’s condo sales. Any funds that it did receive, the company maintains, used for various expenses, including paying off a project loan and were transferred off in 2009.

Both Leviev and Boymelgreen have been prohibited from marketing or selling any condominiums or coops in New York State for the duration of several government investigations into their activities.

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