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Landlords Joel and Amrom Israel Plead Guilty To Abusing Tenants In Brooklyn

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Brothers Joel and Amrom Israel, who have been described by some as slum lords, have plead guilty to charges that they forced out tenants in rent controlled apartments. The two confessed to the charges on Tuesday in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

The Israel brothers admitted in open court that they had taken actions to damage four different rent controlled apartments in buildings of theirs located in the Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods of Brooklyn. They did so in order to force the tenants out and be able to charge the much higher market rates for rent to new occupants.

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“Landlords across Brooklyn should be put on notice by today’s felony guilty pleas that illegal actions they may take to harass and intimidate tenants in rent regulated apartments will not go unpunished, ” said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

The deal will require the brothers to make as much as $250, 000 in reparations to their victims and perform 500 hours of community service. Joel and Amrom Israel must make the restitution before their formal sentencing in about six months.

“The Israels have chosen to put this matter behind them and are cooperating fully to ensure that the rights of their tenants are protected, ” their lawyers Kevin Keating and John Carman said in a statement.

“New York has zero tolerance for those who seek to defraud or discriminate against rent-regulated tenants trying to make a home for themselves and their families, ” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a press release. “Together with our state and local partners, the Tenant Protection Unit will further crack down on unscrupulous landlords and ensure that those responsible for this reprehensible conduct are held to full account. The state is committed to protecting tenants’ rights and ensuring access to safe, decent, affordable housing statewide.”

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