Joel Landau -The Allure of Escaping Millions Richer – Sorry… No Pictures Please

rivington house

Dear Reader:

Joel Landau, through a series of demands and other bullying tactics sent in the form of threatening letters from Wordpress, claimed an array of Copyright violations. The poor little man did not like having his face on our pages. So he had his pictures forcibly removed from our pages and our archives with threat of shutting us down for Copyright Violations. While that makes us kinda want to put a Metadata link to his name and Allure Group on every single one of our pages, so that he and Allure will forever be synonymous with every ill, morally bankrupt and skewed activity referenced on these pages (particularly where healthcare facilities are concerned), we figured that would simply be unproductive. Instead, we are going to publish every article about Landau and Allure. We will publish every piece of information available. Just send it over. We hope that one day someone, more clever than him and his band of merry loophole-finders, figures out a way to make him pay for his reprehensible though remarkably clever behavior. He is another person who manipulates the lives of our most vulnerable citizens for ill-gotten gains. To Joel Landau and Shlomo Rechnitz – L’chaim…

City admits it doesn’t have a legal case against Allure Group over Rivington House

Mayor said law department can’t find “pathway” to seeking restitution from Joel Landau’s firm

The city’s hands may be tied when it comes to seeking restitution for the controversial sale of a Manhattan nursing home to a luxury condo developer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who in April vowed to sue Allure Group for flipping the property at 45 Rivington Street, said Thursday that the city’s lawyers “cannot find an actual pathway” to restitution.

“I support anything that would get us further restitution for what happened,” the mayor said at a press conference, Politico reported. “I made very clear my anger at the way the private-sector firm handled things,” he said. However, “So far, our law department cannot find an actual pathway.”

Allure made $72 million when it sold 45 Rivington to Slate Property Group, after convincing the city to lift a deed restriction on the site. The de Blasio administration maintained that Allure did not tell the city it intended to sell the building to a developer while negotiations were taking place. But a report from the Department of Investigations found that reps for Allure told the city in March 2015 that if the deed weren’t lifted, it would consider a conversion of the property to luxury apartments.

Comptroller Scott Stringer also accused Allure of misleading City Hall, but mostly faulted the de Blasio administration for mishandling information at virtually every turn. Allure maintains it did nothing wrong.

The mayor has insisted he was not aware of the deal.

Allure, led by Joel Launda, has maintained it did not lie to the city, but earlier this month, the mayor signed a bill to increase oversight of deed restrictions.

Meanwhile, the city hired two law firms this year to represent it in the Rivington deal, and in campaign finance investigations. The contracts are for more than $10 million, Politico reported. [Politico]E.B. Solomont


10 thoughts on “Joel Landau -The Allure of Escaping Millions Richer – Sorry… No Pictures Please

  1. Can someone please explain how posting a highly cropped picture that is all over all the blogs could be possibly be copyrighted and seriously lead to a shut down?

    Also to LM:
    If that does somehow shut you down – learn from them in the story about those shameless people ‘buying’ properties and never transferring ownership and just reopen under another name!

    • @wow – The barrage of emails we received on the Landau pictures acknowledged that WordPress was not unconvincinced that the pictures we were using were, in fact, public domain; but that failure to either remove the photographs or send in an appeal could have us removed from WP. The next barrage advised and informed that while the public use doctrine was in place, WP had decided to abide by the demands and remove the photos themselves. They were removed from every page (or almost) and from our archives. If we post them again, we run the risk of being shut down. We decided rather than fight the removal, we would draw attention to what was behind that removal – which we believe is a skewed sense of right and wrong, a desire to dance in the shadows and a bankruptcy sense of morality. Thanks for keeping this in the spotlight.

      • Im sorry but this is ridiculous. There is no way that picture can be copyrighted. What’s next? Name in print is copyrighted? Initials too? Is that why Chareidim wont even use womens’ first names in print? Someone holds the copyright on womens’ names? Probably why there are no womens’ pictures either. Its been a misunderstanding all along – its the copyright issue that they are concerned about. Who knew?

        • What LM is missing is there is something called the Fair Use doctrine which I think would cover the publishing of a publicly available image. Also, the question would be raised as to whether by now he is considered a public figure and therefore cannot retain ownership of publicly available images.

          • @someone, thanks. It was far easier to simply allow the photos to be taken down than it was to start trying to fight the process. Joel Landau will get far more than enough publicity from his choices and their unintended consequences, which is fine by us.

    • The Allure Group — the current owner of the Rivington House building — can be sued for defrauding the city government under the state False Claims Act.

      The False Claims Act statute allows for penalties against companies that knowingly lie to the city or state in such a way that affects payment to the government.

      If found to have violated the False Claims Act, the Allure Group could be liable to pay three times the amount of the damages that the city sustained because of the fraud, plus civil penalties between $6,000 and $12,000 for each individual violation of the act. Clearly, the figure could be high, in the millions. It wasn’t clear, though, if it could be up to $48 million — based on the 25 percent “flip tax” calculation on the $64 million underestimation of the property’s value that the city did not receive.

      Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office would not comment on Squadron’s letter. The A.G. currently has an ongoing wider ongoing investigation into the property’s sale, in which the office has said it was misled. The office claimed it had no knowledge Allure Group sought to lift its deed restriction when it was required by state law to sign off on the sale in 2014.

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