Developer At it Again – Ramapo

 

viola-rd-constviolations

Viola condominium developer at it again: Matzav.com

 

http://preserve-ramapo.com/viola-condominium-developer-at-it-again-matzav-com/

 

This article appeared Jan. 30 on www.matzav.com 

The development has been shut down for months.  But its developer has been quite busy.

After the unprecedented stop work order issued by the Town of Ramapo last October against Viola Estates Condominium on Viola Road – the first such order resulting from neighbors fighting the town’s unrestrained overdevelopment – the developer of Viola Estates got to work.

First, he and his supporters pushed rabbonim, dayanim, askanim and other community leaders in an attempt to stop the neighbors who brought the lawsuit that led to the order.  But upon hearing the full story, these community leaders stopped their own involvement instead.

Then he sought to create some distance between himself and the project by bringing in another developer.  But he couldn’t find anyone to accept his terms.

So he tried to push his way back to the Town to allow him to continue work at the project.  But the acting building inspector was “unable to attend” such a meeting, according to the developer.

Now, in a new set of papers, he wants to bypass the building department by applying to the CDRC for a revised site plan, to be heard at its next meeting on February 9th.

Let’s remember the context:  the developer spot-zoned the project from 9 families to 44 in an agreement with neighbors that they would not fight his application if he in fact limited the development to 44 single-family units.  He then proceeded to build accessory apartments – illegal in his newly created zone and in brazen defiance of his agreement.  The neighbors met with him to settle the issue peacefully, but according to court documents, the developer said “he had built and intends to sell the dwelling units as single units with accessory apartments.”  When asked to abide by his original agreement with them, he “flatly and repeatedly refused.”

Under the guidance of daas Torah, the neighbors first complained to the Town, which ignored them, and then took the developer to court to enjoin him from building illegal apartments.  The court ordered a site inspection by the neighbors’ experts, whose report was jaw-dropping: not only had accessory apartments been built (with separate – and marked – boilers, heating units, plumbing and electric panels, and even kitchens where the plans called for walk-in closets), but preparations were also made for even more apartments to house a total of at least 176 families. At that point, the Town issued its order.

Now the developer is back.  In an application for a revised site plan, his attorney acknowledges that a stop work order was issued, but only for changes “not consistent with the site plan or with the Zoning Code,” instead of flagrant violations of law.

“The applicant made changes to the interior of the buildings,” the application continues, “that have been interpreted as preparing the buildings to host illegal accessory apartments” – no doubt a reference to the actual build-out of the apartments, the installation of separate building systems servicing them, and the visible marking of such systems as in fact supplying the accessory apartments.  “While the applicant does not agree that the buildings were to be sold as having these accessory apartments, it does acknowledge that the changes were built, [and] that they could have been used by an end user to create the apartments with minor effort,” such minor effort perhaps being to rent them as accessory apartments.

The developer’s application ignores inconvenient truths.  It fails to disclose to the CDRC, for example, that a court action had to be brought for the stop work order, which action is ongoing; that the order was issued only after the neighbors’ own experts brought the extent of the wrongdoing to the attention of the court (and not that it was issued by the Building Department “in response to its [own] findings at the site”); and most egregiously, that additional apartments were prepared beyond the accessory apartments which would have resulted in a density of almost 2000% of the original zoning.

The current application says that the developer wants to cure violations “as a showing of good faith” to continue building.  Is this like someone who wants to avoid punishment after getting caught stealing by returning the stolen goods as a sign of “good faith”?  As the neighbors’ attorney said in open court, “this is a fraud committed on the town, the neighbors and the Attorney General.  It’s encouraging that the town issued a stop work order.  But what they should have done is revoked his building permit.”

January 30, 2017 Matzav.com

FBI Probe – E-Rate, Stating the Obvious

KJRaids ABC

How Could Wrongdoing Not Be Found, DA Zugibe?

LM Contributor

Anyone familiar with the ultra-Orthodox community would know that the children are not permitted to use the internet. They are barely permitted to use a library, except per-say one that has a wealth of religious information, texts, commentaries, and perhaps (perhaps) articles of recent scholars. But, only those limited to religion.

There is no math research. There is no science research. There is no learning about the moon and the stars and NASA on the sites available for such study. There is no internet access to Google and Yahoo and all of the many sites that non-ultra-Orthodox children use when they want to ask a question or find out information or G-d forbid sneak some peak at illicit pictures.

CHILDREN ARE DENIED ACCESS TO COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET, DA ZUGIBE! 

Ultra-Orthodox children do not use websites. They do not read “online” newspapers. Anyone who makes claims to the contrary is simply telling a broad untruth. The percentage of e-rate dollars scattered throughout the ultra-Orthodox community is simply not supported by the number of children within that community permitted to use those dollars for education…. roughly… ZERO!!! Continue reading

Ramapo Residents Make a Stand Against Ramapo Temporary School Law – Setting a Precedent!!!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ramapo Residents Fight Back Against

Ramapo Temporary School Law For Very First Time

Suffern, NY – November 7, 2016 – On June 22, 2016, Tony Mallia, Director of Building, Planning and Zoning for the Town of Ramapo, illegally issued a permit to Aron Bineth / Congregation Yeshiva Zera Yakov to allow for the conversion of a single family home at 101 Carlton Road West to a Yeshiva for 75 students. Mr. Mallia granted this permit over the objections of other Town and local fire officials who pointed out that this conversion was not legal under the Town of Ramapo Code, and who identified many health and safety issues in establishing such a project on an undersized residential lot. This permit, granted in violation of State and local law without planning board review, public hearings, or CDRC review meeting, was challenged by Local Resident Peter Katz in formal letters to the Town Board and Building Inspector. After receiving no response from the Town, Katz formally appealed to the Ramapo Zoning Board of Appeals. Katz had no choice but to petition the Supreme Court of Rockland County today to intercede, as the Ramapo ZBA approved a request by the Yeshiva’s owner/operators to adjourn the hearing of this important case while the construction continues upon the site at a breakneck pace.

The Verified Complaint filed today (Index No. 034819/2016) sets forth ten (10) causes of action, asking the Court to revoke this illegal building permit and to stop all work at the property, until same can be conducted in full compliance with State and local law.

Mr. Katz is joined by two other residents who also live within 500 feet of the property, Jack Gross and Sharon Kronenberg. All three of these Monsey/Suffern area residents are observant orthodox Jews who have sought out and obtained permission from their Rabbi to pursue this action against the Town of Ramapo.

The misuse and abuse of the Temporary Modular School Law under which this permit was approved has caused extreme divisiveness in Ramapo, particularly in the lower density residential neighborhoods of Western Ramapo. Properties housing these “temporary” schools often do not meet zoning code requirements and rely on the much too easy granting of substantial zoning variances by the ZBA. Most egregiously, as is the case in this new litigation, these projects are considered and approved without any form of public hearing as required under the law. Although these schools are supposedly only given temporary permits for one year, with a potential renewal for only one more year, the history of these projects demonstrates a complete lack of code enforcement by the Town of Ramapo. Once a “temporary school” is permitted, it remains open indefinitely.

These plaintiffs are not, of course, opposed to religious schools in their neighborhood. They are however, opposed to the pattern of disregarding the very laws which were established to protect the character of their neighborhood, to ensure the health, safety, and comfort of its inhabitants, and to ensure that their voices, and not just only the voices of developers, are heard.

# # #

Contact:

Peter Katz Phone – 845.357.0129

peterkatz99@gmail.com

 

LEGAL Filings:

Filing User Information

User Name:   STEVEN MOGEL Phone Number:   Fax Number:   Email Service Address:  smogel@sullivancountylawyers.com Work Address:

Payment Information

Amount of payment:  $210 Date of payment:  11/07/2016 Payment method:  VISA/MC Authorization code:  07240G Payment Comments:

E-mail Service Notifications Sent
Name Email Address
STEVEN MOGEL smogel@sullivancountylawyers.com
Note: Service of initiating documents and the “Notice of Availability Regarding Electronic Filing” (in consensual cases) or the “Notice of Commencement of Mandatory E-Filed Case” (in mandatory cases) must be made in hard copy (unless the party agrees to accept service by electronic means). These forms can be found on the NYSCEF site under the “Forms” menu. The served copies also must bear the assigned Index Number and the date of filing (CPLR 305).
Documents Filed

(To view a document, click the document type link)

Doc # Document Type Additional Doc Info Special Instructions Filed Date
1 SUMMONS + COMPLAINT
2 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of 5/5/16 CDRC Application & 4/4/16 Narrative
3 EXHIBIT(S) Copies of the sections of the Code
4 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of Town of Ramapo Zoning Code
5 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of 5/18/16 CDRC Memorandum
6 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of 5/23/16 Mallia Memorandum
7 EXHIBIT(S) Copies of Lepori and Picarello Memoranda
8 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of Moran Memorandum
9 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of RCSD Memorandum
10 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of Tallman Fire Memorandum
11 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of 6/1/16 CDRC agenda
12 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of 6/22/16 Permit Application & 6/22/16 Building Permit
13 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of ZBA Appeal
14 EXHIBIT(S) 10/27/16 ZBA Agenda & Correspondence
15 EXHIBIT(S) Copies of 9/1/16 & 9/16/16 Shapiro Correspondence
16 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of cited sections of 2010 NYS Building Code & NYS Residential Code
THIS E-MAIL IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE NAMED ADDRESSEE(S) AND FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE NEW YORK STATE COURTS ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM. IF YOU ARE NEITHER THE INTENDED RECIPIENT NOR A PERSON DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE MESSAGES ON BEHALF OF THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, PLEASE NOTIFY THE SENDER IMMEDIATELY. THANK YOU.
Rockland County Supreme Court Notification 11/07/2016

Please retain this notification for your records.
The NYSCEF web site has received documents from the filing user, STEVEN MOGEL , for the following case/claim.

 

Case Information

Index #:  034819/2016 Short Caption:  PETER KATZ et al – v. – YAKOV J. OSTREICHER et al Assigned Case Judge:  No Judge Assigned

Filing User Information

User Name:   STEVEN MOGEL Phone Number:   Fax Number:   Email Service Address:  smogel@sullivancountylawyers.com Work Address:

Documents Filed

(To view a document, click the document type link)

Doc # Document Type Additional Doc Info Special Instructions Filed Date
17 ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE ( PROPOSED )   Relief Sought: Injunction/Restraining Order 11/07/2016
18 AFFIRMATION 11/07/2016
19 AFFIRMATION 11/07/2016
20 AFFIRMATION 11/07/2016
21 AFFIRMATION 11/07/2016
22 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of 5/5/16 CDRC Application & 4/4/16 Narrative Exhibit #: 1 11/07/2016
23 EXHIBIT(S) Copies of the sections of the Code Exhibit #: 2 11/07/2016
24 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of the Town of Ramapo Zoning Code Exhibit #: 3 11/07/2016
25 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of the 5/18/16 CDRC Memorandum Exhibit #: 4 11/07/2016
26 EXHIBIT(S) Copies of the 5/23/16 Mallia Memoranda Exhibit #: 5 11/07/2016
27 EXHIBIT(S) Copies of the Lepori & Picarello Memoranda Exhibit #: 6 11/07/2016
28 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of the Moran Memorandum Exhibit #: 7 11/07/2016
29 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of the RCSD Memorandum Exhibit #: 8 11/07/2016
30 EXHIBIT(S) Copies of the Tallman Fire Memorandum Exhibit #: 9 11/07/2016
31 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of the 6/1/16 CDRC agenda Exhibit #: 10 11/07/2016
32 EXHIBIT(S) 6/22/16 Permit Application & 6/22/16 Buiding Permit Exhibit #: 11 11/07/2016
33 EXHIBIT(S) Copy of the ZBA Appeal Exhibit #: 12 11/07/2016
34 EXHIBIT(S) 10/27/16 ZBA Agenda & Correspondence Exhibit #: 13 11/07/2016
35 EXHIBIT(S) 9/1/16 & 9/16/16 Shapiro Correspondence Exhibit #: 14 11/07/2016
36 EXHIBIT(S) Cited Sections of the 2010 Building Code of NYS & NYS Residential Code Exhibit #: 15 11/07/2016
37 RJI -RE: ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE 11/07/2016
E-mail Service Notifications Sent
Name Email Address
STEVEN MOGEL smogel@sullivancountylawyers.com
Parties Without Representation

Court rules require hard copy service upon non-participating and opted-out parties. NYSCEF has no record of opt out or participation recorded for the parties listed below.

Party Name Role
YAKOV J. OSTREICHER Defendant/Respondent
ARON BINETH Defendant/Respondent
CONGREGATION YESHIVA ZERA YAKOV Defendant/Respondent
ANTHONY MALLIA Defendant/Respondent
THIS E-MAIL IS INTENDED ONLY FOR THE USE OF THE NAMED ADDRESSEE(S) AND FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE NEW YORK STATE COURTS ELECTRONIC FILING SYSTEM. IF YOU ARE NEITHER THE INTENDED RECIPIENT NOR A PERSON DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE MESSAGES ON BEHALF OF THE INTENDED RECIPIENT, PLEASE NOTIFY THE SENDER IMMEDIATELY. THANK YOU.
Paul Piperato ,  Rockland County Clerk   –   Piperatp@co.rockland.ny.us
Phone:  845-638-5094     Fax:  845-638-5073     Website:  http://www.rocklandcountyclerk.com

 

 

East Ramapo and Elia- Public Meeting to Determine Fate of $3M

A School District Whose Children Have Been Raped of an Education and $3M in State Aid

It does not matter in East Ramapo whether you are Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox, secular, Hispanic, Black, White, or Green because all of East Ramapo’s children have been deprived of an education.

In the public schools in East Ramapo despite the best efforts of teachers, parents and activists the resources have been scarce and the schools in disrepair, leaving the public school children to study without proper textbooks,  in classrooms known to leak during rainstorms. The schools of that district barely offer core classes. There are few art classes, if any and music is a luxury.

The public schools in East Ramapo, once the best in the State, lack the resources necessary to provide an education consistent with New York State mandates. Funding is grossly inadequate and the Board of Education, comprised in disproportionate part of ultra-Orthodox men blames the State.

There is no acknowledgement on the part of the Trustees of the East Ramapo Board of Education and their spokespeople that money has been siphoned off for years for the ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox religious education. The premise has been that there are more private school, Yeshiva educated children and more resources should be provided for their edcuation. Separation of Church and State be damned.

In contrast the private Yeshivas, funded with public taxpayer money, have the resources but the children are deprived an education by an establishment which actively chains them to functional illiteracy, mathematical ignorance and a non-science based religious education… in Yiddish. Separation of Church and State, an unknown concept.

 

Presently there is a public meeting at Rockland Community College, located in East Ramapo intended to explain how $3M in New York State aid will be allocated. Perhaps Church and State can walk on separate sides of the road….

Lohud reported on September 27, 2016

Full-day kindergarten and other programs will start Oct. 6

The state education commissioner has approved the East Ramapo school district’s plan for using $3 million in state aid to create universal full-day kindergarten and restore arts programs in grades K-6, among other initiatives.

Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said Monday that she had given her blessing to the plan, and also said she would join state-appointed monitors Charles Szuberla and John Sipple at a public meeting to discuss the initiatives at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Rockland Community College’s Cultural Arts Center, 145 College Road, Ramapo.

Full-day kindergarten and other programs will start Oct. 6, according to a district spokesperson.

The district conducted its own public hearing to receive community input on the expenditure plan on Sept. 7. The school board approved the plan on Sept. 13 and it was submitted to Elia on Sept. 20.

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PREVIOUS COVERAGE: East Ramapo: District details how it will spend $3M state aid

“These plans represent the district’s path forward to ensure progress continues and to ensure the educational rights of every East Ramapo student are met,” Commissioner Elia said in a statement. “Chuck Szuberla, John Sipple and Superintendent Wortham have worked as quickly as possible to put a long-term strategic academic and fiscal improvement plan in place that is both thorough and thoughtful. It continues the work already done to repair the trust of the East Ramapo community, while recognizing there is still work to do.”

The $3 million in supplemental funding was approved under a state oversight law that required the development of the strategic academic plan, as well as a comprehensive expenditure plan, in consultation with Szuberla.

In 2012, East Ramapo went from full-day to half-day kindergarten amid $14 million worth of budget cuts. Last year, two sections were added. Four new full-day kindergarten classes were included in the district’s $224 million budget approved by voters in May.

Here’s what’s being proposed for the $3 million:

  • $1.2 million to hire six monolingual kindergarten teachers and four bilingual kindergarten teachers.
  • Up to 11 sections of full-day kindergarten would be created, depending upon the number of children who enroll.
  • The bulk of kindergarten funding, $670,000, would go towards salaries, while the remainder would cover classroom materials, instructional technology and building adjustments to accommodate new classes.
  • Restoring art, music, dance and theater classes for students in grades K-6 will cost around $1.7 million.
  • The district aims to hire 12 teachers for arts instruction, the majority of whom were previously laid off and are on the preferred eligibility list (PELL).

The strategic plans can be found on the East Ramapo Central School District website.

To read the article in its entirety click here.

Rockland Community College – Public Meeting… Blockbusting

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee’s Interview Above

https://www.facebook.com/Clarkstown-What-They-Dont-Want-You-To-Know-146207698912716/

Senator Carlucci Is Interviewed About Blockbusting

http://www.fios1news.com/lowerhudsonvalley/newsbreakers-interview-DavidCarlucci-part1#.V-vjr6L67Md

The New York Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services held a public meeting at Rockland Community College Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. They are considering a “cease and desist zone” to prohibit blockbusting tactics – Peter Carr/The Journal News

“Chestnut Ridge is going full Orthodox, like Monsey,” Claudia Gollub said she was told by an unnamed home buyer. “We will make our community aware not to buy your house until you have no choice (but) to sell for the lower-than-market price.”

Gollub’s story was one of many voiced by dozens of residents. The hearing displayed the growing tensions between homeowners and home buyers in the county.

Representatives from the Department of State listened for three hours as residents recounted their experiences of pushy home buyers knocking on their doors, calling their homes and leaving unwanted flyers.

Residents can submit further testimony and evidence by mailing it to:

The New York Department of State
99 Washington Ave
One Commerce Plaza
Albany, NY 12231
c/o Whitney A. Clark

http://www.lohud.com/…/rockland-blockbusting-real…/90483344/

Here are links to YouTube videos of statements made at this meeting you may like to watch watch.

Michael Miller’s statement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_sxqnnPQHM

Senator Carlucci’s statement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0JNEjmK5wM

Assemblyman Zebrowski’s statement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjVyZZS8v9w

County Executive Day’s statement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTNEewe-yGY

Assemblywoman Jaffee’s statement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U-kbKUQg_U

Part II of Carlucci Interview: http://www.fios1news.com/lowerhudsonvalley/newsbreakers-interview-DavidCarlucci-part2#.V-vktaL67Md

 

Another Rockland County Debacle – Overdevelopment and a Comparison to Provident Park Stadium

1461616851_PCU PARK WEB 4 25 16

PROVIDENT PARK STADIUM – RENAMED PALISADES CREDIT UNION PARK, AND HOME OF THE ROCKLAND BOULDERS –  ROCKLANDERS ARE NOT HAPPY ABOUT SIMILAR PROSPECTS

For many people living in Rockland County, the great tragedy of Provident Park, home of the Rockland Boulders, is not only the alleged misappropriation of funds by Christopher St. Lawrence, assisted by Aaron Troodler (https://www.google.com/search?q=chrisopher+st.+lawrence&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8), which fostered the building of that stadium. Both St. Lawrence and Troodler were charged with upwards of 22 counts of fraud, wire fraud and other charges.

It is also the tragic loss of Matterhorn Nurseries which is now partially developed into housing, most ultra-Orthodox and Orthodox communities.

Christopher St. Lawrence, according to Rockland County residents is, has been and will always be in the pockets of the ultra-Orthodox community. He cares little about the public schools, the over-development and the ramifications for an entire community because he has been well compensated. The fact that the ultra-Orthodox  intent upon over-development, siphoning funds from public education to private yeshivas and utilizing taxpayer money to fund their very existence, is of little relevance when they vote in droves to support him as Town Supervisor. From our view, Lawrence, Troodler, and others belong behind bars.  

From the opinion of some living in Rockland County, it is difficult to believe that the owners of the Boulders knew nothing about the unsavory way in which the stadium was funded, the misappropriation of funds out of the pockets of taxpayers and the destruction of the Horn family’s iconic nursery. It is hard to tell whether they, like St. Lawrence were in the pockets of the ultra-Orthodox community and whether the building of the stadium was their share of the pie.

The opinion piece posted below, comments to the contention that mega-development in Rockland County is not Orthodox-only. He compares a Route 59 development plan to the “Provident Park debacle.”  If the owners of the Boulders knew of the misappropriation of funds and participated in some form or another, then the comparison is correct but the conclusion is wrong. It would not be “Orthodox-only.”

We leave you to ponder….

 

Monseydevleopmentplansrcdevelopment

Monsey development plans unrealistic: View

http://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/08/24/monsey-development-plans-unrealistic-view/89253294/

Re “Monsey mega-developer: Don’t assume it’s Orthodox-only,” Aug. 11 article:

I can’t believe such a project would be considered for the proposed site. Then I remembered, it’s Ramapo and history shows that anything the community’s wealthy developers want, they get, regardless of costs and consequences to town residents.

The article includes photos of nice drawings of a large, New York City-style urban development with trees and landscaping, and even a few cars. Not surprisingly, they don’t show Route 59.

The drawings and the details of the plan are pure fantasy and a public deception. Six days a week, that location is already a dangerous traffic choke-point on Route 59.

The plan boasts more than 600 parking spaces and, like all such plans proposed in Ramapo, it will undoubtedly fall far short of the actual need in favor of money-making apartment space.

Regardless, the spots represent at least that many additional vehicles in the area. Shoppers visiting the ground-level stores will bring even more vehicles.

PROPOSAL: Ramapo developer proposes 600 units off Route 59

The hundreds of housing units represent thousands of children (if not now, in the near future). That requires more than 100 school buses each transporting children back and forth several times each day.

Additionally, there will be the taxis, delivery vehicles, sanitation vehicles, service vehicles, medical transport vehicles, etc. trying to move through the impossibly congested area. It will be interesting to see a fire truck or ambulance navigate the area in response to a call for help.

How can this possibly work? To begin to even try to make such a plan work will require incredibly expensive and massive capital improvements to the area’s infrastructure, including water, sewers, utilities and roads.

What about the environmental costs? What about public and park spaces for the many, many people who would reside there?

What portion of the astronomical financial cost will the wealthy developers be required to pay?

I think that the taxpayers of Ramapo and Rockland are looking at another Provident Stadium debacle. I’m still paying for a stadium I didn’t want, and I don’t want to pay for a nonsensical project that will further enrich the community’s already wealthy and politically powerful developers.

As for the title of the article, “Builder: It’s not orthodox-only,” I don’t believe it for a minute.

to read this article and similar ones click here.

 

Money vs. Elderly – Money Wins

nursinghome_001A

Braemoor Health Center in Brockton is one of several Massachusetts nursing homes owned by Synergy Health Centers.

https://www.facebook.com/preserveramapo/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf

A Monsey Resident And The Nursing Home Business

Braemoor Health Center is a modest nursing home in Brockton, licensed to care for 120 residents. But Larry Lipschutz, who owns the property, was able to wring $1.8 million in pay out of it last year, according to state records. His son, Avi “Zisha” Lipschutz, who holds the state license to run the nursing home, extracted nearly $900,000 from Braemoor as payments to a realty company and four management firms he owns.
As the owners were taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of Braemoor, the nursing home racked up three and a half times as many health and safety problems as the state average, federal documents show.

Over the past year, a portrait has emerged of substandard care in many of the nursing homes run by Braemoor’s owner, Synergy Health Centers. Poor treatment of patients’ festering pressure sores. Medication errors. Inadequate staff training.

Now, a Globe investigation shows that as father and son were paying themselves handsomely, Synergy apparently provided false information when applying for nursing home licenses. The Globe’s review also found that Synergy and its affiliated companies assembled a string of 11 nursing homes with little state scrutiny of the backgrounds of top executives, including Larry Lipschutz, who faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines because of previous business dealings.

Synergy Health Centers company headquarters is in a two-story brick building tucked behind a bank in Toms River, N.J., a bustling town near the Jersey shore. There is no Synergy sign at the entrance or inside the lobby, only a single 8-by-11-inch piece of paper, with the words “Synergy Health Centers” taped to the front door of the second-floor office. A worker there said no one was available when a reporter visited the office last month.

Lipschutz owns a home assessed at $1.1 million in Monsey, N.Y., and a $1.4 million condo in a luxury high-rise in Miami Beach, according to property records. He did not return phone calls and could not be reached at his New York home.

Nursing home owners profited as complaints rose

Braemoor Health Center is a modest nursing home in Brockton, licensed to care for 120 residents. But Larry Lipschutz, who owns the property, was able to wring $1.8 million in pay out of it last year, according to state records. His son, Avi “Zisha” Lipschutz, who holds the state license to run the nursing home, extracted nearly $900,000 from Braemoor as payments to a realty company and four management firms he owns.

As the owners were taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of Braemoor, the nursing home racked up three and a half times as many health and safety problems as the state average, federal documents show.

Over the past year, a portrait has emerged of substandard care in many of the nursing homes run by Braemoor’s owner, Synergy Health Centers. Poor treatment of patients’ festering pressure sores. Medication errors. Inadequate staff training.

Now, a Globe investigation shows that as father and son were paying themselves handsomely, Synergy apparently provided false information when applying for nursing home licenses. The Globe’s review also found that Synergy and its affiliated companies assembled a string of 11 nursing homes with little state scrutiny of the backgrounds of top executives, including Larry Lipschutz, who faces tens of thousands of dollars in fines because of previous business dealings.

Synergy entered Massachusetts in late 2012 with no record of owning nursing homes, but now presides over facilities licensed to care for more than 1,200 residents in the state. It continued to receive licenses despite providing misleading statements about tax payments on the company’s Braemoor facility, and mounting health and safety problems at several Synergy nursing homes.

In 2014, most of the Synergy nursing homes spent less than $100 a day on nursing care for each patient, some considerably less, according to a Globe analysis of industry financial records. The state median is about $100 daily.

“I don’t know how you get yourself into a situation that you give somebody 11 nursing homes with what’s been happening” with Synergy, said Ray Cryan, a former Massachusetts Health Department manager who had conducted suitability reviews of companies before they would be allowed to buy a nursing home. “They are not applying for a parking sticker in the North End here.”

Synergy’s cofounders, through their public relations firm, declined to respond to a detailed list of questions about the company’s operations and owners. Requests for interviews made in person at the company’s New Jersey headquarters and with a company lawyer went unanswered.

After being told about the findings of the Globe’s investigation, the state’s public health commissioner, Dr. Monica Bharel, released a statement acknowledging her agency needs to overhaul its review of nursing home licensing.

“As this industry quickly shifts, Massachusetts regulators need to revise our current review process and respond appropriately to ensure that residents get the highest quality care in a safe environment,” Bharel said.

Owning a nursing home is rarely as simple as just buying one. Owners routinely establish an affiliated company that holds the property itself and set up additional management and related companies. That is done to make it harder for someone who is suing to get access to the company’s money, according to attorneys who represent patients who have been harmed.

But that also creates a web of companies and owners, and the Globe investigation found state regulators often fail to pierce that.

When a company wants a nursing home license in Massachusetts, it must give the state the names and addresses of anyone involved in that web of ownership and operation.

But the state does background checks only on the people seeking the license to operate the nursing home. That means people who run those affiliated companies are not scrutinized.

‘Massachusetts regulators need to revise our current review process.’

Dr. Monica Bharel, Mass. public health commissioner 

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Consider Larry Lipschutz. He owns the Braemoor property and is part owner of eight other properties that house Synergy nursing homes in Massachusetts, but he does not hold the operating licenses.

If regulators had been required to check his background, they might have discovered an arrest and tens of thousands of dollars in fines related to a tumble-down apartment complex called Branch Brook Gardens he owned in Belleville, N.J.

Lipschutz, a native New Yorker, bought the 22-building development in 1993, and over the next decade ran the once-coveted property into the ground, said New Jersey state Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, who helped tenants lobby for repairs.

“There were broken windows, flooded areas, rats. It was unbelievable,” Caputo said.

State inspectors found roughly 1,400 violations during a March 2004 inspection, according to New Jersey regulators. Local inspectors were citing him, too, with little success in getting repairs or persuading him to show up for court hearings, said Belleville Police Chief Joseph Rotonda.

Local officials finally sought an arrest warrant for the outstanding violations. Lipschutz pleaded guilty in municipal court in November 2004 to local code violations, was fined $935, and still owes Belleville $726.50, according to court documents.

At the same time, state regulators levied $49,369 in fines and fees against Lipschutz but offered to cut that in half if he fixed his buildings. Lipschutz has paid just $3,000 and failed to address the problems, according to New Jersey Department of Community Affairs records.

He sold the complex in March 2005 for $40 million, property records show.

Lipschutz owns a home assessed at $1.1 million in Monsey, N.Y., and a $1.4 million condo in a luxury high-rise in Miami Beach, according to property records. He did not return phone calls and could not be reached at his New York home.

His role in owning the property for six of the Synergy nursing homes is not disclosed in the company’s license applications as required under Massachusetts rules (although even if it had been reported, state authorities acknowledge they wouldn’t have done a background check). That ownership has proved profitable: The $1.8 million in pay he took from Braemoor Health Center stands out among financial reports filed by the state’s roughly 400 other nursing homes, a Globe review shows.

The Globe’s request for copies of all documents the Massachusetts Department of Public Health used in its review of Synergy nursing home applications has been pending for more than a month.

In an e-mailed response to the Globe’s questions, department spokesman Scott Zoback said the Health Department typically checks whether individuals applying for nursing home licenses have a criminal background in Massachusetts or are among vendors prohibited from state and federal health care programs. The agency also checks state and federal records for any other nursing homes an applicant may own, whether sanctions or financial penalties have been imposed, and whether penalties have been paid, Zoback said.

The department also requires applicants to certify they are in “compliance with state law on taxes and child support.”

The state’s review of at least four Synergy license applications apparently missed $30,000 in unpaid unemployment assistance and related state health insurance obligations for the first half of 2014 by Braemoor. A statelien for the delinquent taxes was recently lifted, but during the stretch of time it went unpaid, the Health Department granted Synergy more nursing home licenses. On those four license applications, Synergy indicated it had paid all taxes — even though it hadn’t, according to state records.

Federal liens of $138,000 against Braemoor for unpaid taxes in 2013 and 2014 were satisfied in April of this year, Plymouth County Registry of Deeds records show.

While Larry Lipschutz is listed as the sole owner of the Braemoor property and co-owner of many of the Synergy properties, it’s his 32-year-old son, Zisha, and Dov Newmark, 35, who hold the operating licenses for the Massachusetts nursing homes. They are Synergy’s cofounders.

Their company headquarters is in a two-story brick building tucked behind a bank in Toms River, N.J., a bustling town near the Jersey shore. There is no Synergy sign at the entrance or inside the lobby, only a single 8-by-11-inch piece of paper, with the words “Synergy Health Centers” taped to the front door of the second-floor office. A worker there said no one was available when a reporter visited the office last month.

Three former Synergy employees describe Zisha Lipschutz as an ardent New England Patriots fan and high-energy boss. One former employee and one current worker said Lipschutz would rally his managers during meetings by quoting or showing scenes from “Mad Men,” a TV series about a 1960s-era Madison Avenue advertising firm.

The former employees and the current employee declined to be identified because they still work in the nursing home industry and said they feared that being identified could affect their careers.

The related management and realty companies associated with the nursing homes Zisha Lipschutz and Newmark co-own took in more than $7 million in 2014, according to a review of financial records Synergy filed with Massachusetts regulators.

Both men received bachelor’s degrees in Talmudic law, according to resumes included in their state nursing home licensing application and verified by the Globe.

Lipschutz’s resume lists one New Jersey nursing home company, Regency Post-Acute, Rehab & Nursing Centers, where, it says, he worked for about three years, first as an assistant administrator, then in financial management and business development. Regency verified that Lipschutz had worked there but declined to comment further.

Newmark’s resume lists three Pennsylvania nursing homes and two in New Jersey where, the resume said, he was director of reimbursement and compliance before entering the Massachusetts market in 2012.

That was news to Alex Ringkamp, administrator of Willow Terrace in Philadelphia, one of the nursing homes where Newmark said he had worked between January 2009 and summer 2012.

“I do not know that name, and there was never such a position here,” said Ringkamp, who has worked there since 2008.

Greg Monroe, administrator of Centennial Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia, another nursing home listed on Newmark’s resume, said Newmark had not been the facility’s director of reimbursement and compliance. Newmark’s resume indicates he held that position from January 2009 until July 2012.

“He was a consultant here for a short period of time, in 2012,” Monroe said. Newmark reviewed documents to help the facility comply with regulations for government reimbursements, Monroe said.

Newmark’s resume also lists him as director of reimbursements and compliance at Concord Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Lakewood, N.J., and Tuvya Blumenkrantz, business manager there, confirmed Newmark filled that position from January 2009 until summer 2012.

Administrators at two other facilities listed by Newmark did not return phone calls.

Financial skills would prove useful for the considerable bills Newmark and Zisha Lipschutz now shoulder at Synergy.

Registries of deeds records indicate that since 2012, the company has spent $68.5 million buying 10 of its Massachusetts nursing homes. The 11th, Brockton Health Center, is leased from a separate New Jersey company.

At the same time, Synergy has taken on roughly $99 million in mortgages and loans, the records show.

Since opening for business in Massachusetts, Synergy has earned a reputation for aggressive marketing to attract patients, but several former and current employees said Synergy has skimped on nurse staffing and other essentials, such as fresh linens and creams to prevent pressure sores.

Two other former staffers described coveted Patriots playoff tickets Synergy bought in January 2013 — one month after acquiring its first facility in Sunderland. The company spent roughly $25,000 on a suite at Gillette Stadium and invited local doctors and nurses to help woo more business for its new facility, the staffers said.

“It really offended me because I had to do battle to get basic nursing supplies,” said one of the former staffers who still works in the industry and asked to remain anonymous.

In the months following that playoff game, the company cut back on the quality of adult diapers and fresh fruit at its Sunderland facility, according to a former volunteer state ombudsman and government records, and was cited by state investigators for more than a dozen violations.

Two other workers, one still a Synergy staffer, said they have had positive experiences working for the company. One, a former business manager who has since moved on to another nursing home company, said she remembers Zisha Lipschutz dropping in during off hours to hand out pizza to workers.

“They were very good to me, and they were very much for their employees,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be used because she didn’t want her new employer to read about her talking about her former boss.

“If someone needed a hardship loan, they would offer that as well,” she said.

But another former employee accuses Synergy of reneging on thousands of dollars it owes him. Yitzhak Rosenblum, Synergy’s former director of acquisitions, is suing Lipschutz and Newmark, alleging they fired him in June without cause. Rosenblum says the company owes him more than $200,000 for coordinating the acquisition of several nursing homes worth more than $20 million, according to the suit filed in August in Ocean County Superior Court, in New Jersey.

Rosenblum’s suit notes he may be entitled to even more compensation because he was working on the acquisition of two more nursing homes for Synergy, in Linden, N.J., and in Bristol, Tenn. Representatives of those nursing homes did not return phone calls inquiring whether the deals had been completed.

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