Suing for Silence – Rabbis who Report Sexual Abuse, Bloggers who Write About Fraud, Housing, etc. The Courts as a Weapon One Example [video]

 

To Our Readers:

We do not do the justice to the subjects within the community that FailedMessiah did. He was better at it. Had he not moved on, we would not have found our place on this crusade of sorts. We can only try to do our best.

LostMessiah, as is evident by the video above, is not the only entity to be sued for speaking out. We have no intention of being bought or being silenced.

We do need your help.  If you have not donated to the page and/or to the lawsuit, please do so. The link for the lawsuit is as follows:

https://www.gofundme.com/defending-free-speech-stopping-bullying

The Plaintiff had another victory at the hearing on May 8, 2019, leaving much of the Complaint and other documents sealed, in clear violation of the First Amendment. The articles in question were written in 2016, outside the Statute of Limitations, brokering no argument, except when you have the Kings County deck stacked against you.

The attorney never contacted us to take something down before instituting proceedings to unmask. That was not the purpose of hte Plaintiff.

Anyone who has ever contacted LostMessiah directly with a claim of any kind that we were wrong or erred or misquoted or used a photo we should not have, we have addressed the claim.

They have sued us because the Plaintiff’s wealth is endless and Kings County is a Satmar real estate mogul’s paradise. We ask that you please support us and our efforts. 

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17 Properties, $173M Price Tag, $43-$200M Appraisals, Property Owners Controlling Process – Profiteering from Homelessness

Appraisers question process NYC used to value properties before shelling out $173 million to shady landlords

Appraisers question process NYC used to value properties before shelling out $173 million to shady landlords

Mayor de Blasio’s release of hundreds of pages of appraisal documents used in the city’s controversial $173 million purchase of 17 properties from two shady landlords has raised more questions than it has answered, appraisers who reviewed the records said.

The biggest irregularity, they said, is that BBG Inc., the appraiser hired by former owners Jay and Stuart Podolsky, submitted an unsigned, “restricted” draft estimate intended only for the client, not the buyer. But the buyer, the city in this case, received a copy of that appraisal.

“It’s inappropriate to use it, especially if you know someone other than the owner might have to rely on your report,” said Michael Vargas, president of the Vanderbilt Appraisal Company. He said the use of draft and “restricted” appraisals is frowned upon in the industry because it gives a client the ability to influence an appraisal.

“It’s a way for the client, the property owner, to control the process,” Vargas said. “It’s kind of like talking to the client and asking him, ‘Let me know if I should change the value to your liking.’”

Paula Konikoff, a lawyer and expert on appraisal standards, said the city should not have accepted an appraisal from the sellers without a signature because it carries little weight as an estimate. “Frankly, they should know better,” she said. “Why didn’t they bother to get the signed document?”

Eight appraisal estimates of the properties offered widely divergent assessments of their worth. One, conducted by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development, set the total value at $49 million. Another, commissioned by the city Law Department and conducted by Metropolitan Valuation Services, estimated the value of the properties was $143 million. A third, conducted by the Podolsky firm of choice, BBG Inc., was done by appraiser Joel Leitner, who worked for BBG at the time and put the value at $200 million.

 

City Department of Finance tax records list the total value of the 17 properties at just over $40 million. City tax levies are based on that number. If the properties were worth millions more, as some of the appraisals suggest, it means the city may have taxed the owners too little for years. If the true value of the properties is around $49 million, as one appraisal suggested, the city paid far too much for them..

De Blasio spokeswoman Jaclyn Rothenberg said the broad difference exists because the “valuations prepared by our independent appraiser were based on different assumptions than those used by DOF to annually assess all real property in the city.”

“DOF follows state law in valuing property and its assessments are based on current use. The independent appraisers valued the properties for acquisition purposes,” she said.

Even Leitner described it as “unusual” for anyone but the client to have a copy of such a draft appraisal.

“If my client asked me to give it to the city, I would have said no because it’s unsigned,” Leitner told the Daily News. “That should not be affecting the sales price,” he said, referring to the unsigned appraisal.

The Podolskys have a history of real estate woes in New York City. In 1986, they pleaded guilty to more than two dozen felonies in connection with their real estate holdings in Manhattan. They also allegedly covered up extensive fraud involved in acquiring the properties they are now selling to the city, several sources have told The News.

 

Last month, the city said it had finalized the deal to buy the 17 properties in the Bronx and Brooklyn used to house the homeless for $173 million. The city plans to convert the “cluster-site” apartments to permanent affordable housing.

To continue reading click here.

Homelessness in NY, Real Estate Enterprises and Sweetheart Deals and The Money that Owns NY Politics

De Blasio and Cuomo are failures on homelessness, report says

De Blasio and Cuomo are failures on homelessness, report says

Homelessness in New York City is projected to increase by 5,000 people in 2022 — 7,500 more than Mayor de Blasio predicted when he outlined his plan to tackle the problem in 2017, a new report from the Coalition for the Homeless revealed.

The report — the findings of which the Daily News obtained Monday — projects the spike unless de Blasio “immediately changes course” by increasing the number of apartments set aside for the homeless by 30,000.The Coalition, which plans to release its report Tuesday, slammed both de Blasio and Gov. Cuomo, giving both failing grades in four categories.

De Blasio got an F for his inability to create more housing. Cuomo received failing grades for his performance on housing vouchers, homelessness prevention and cost-shifting practices that the Coalition claims hurt the city.

“The mayor currently has a completely inadequate plan to address homelessness,” Coalition policy director Giselle Routhier said.

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In the city’s 2017 Turning the Tide on Homelessness report, de Blasio administration officials predicted the shelter population would dip by 2,500 by 2022.

But according to Routhier and the Coalition, that isn’t happening unless the city creates more permanent affordable housing, more quickly. Routhier would like to see 24,000 new apartments created through new construction and 6,000 added through preservation efforts.

“With this simple change, the city can provide thousands of homeless men, women, and children with safe, clean, and stable homes,” she said.

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De Blasio recently made a move to add more permanent affordable housing to the mix when it purchased 17 properties used as “cluster” site homeless shelters from notorious landlords Jay and Stuart Podolsky for $173 million. The two pleaded guilty to dozens of felonies in 1986 in relation to their Manhattan real estate holdings. They hired Frank Carone, a de Blasio donor and friend, to shepherd their most recent deal with the city to the finish line..

While technically adding permanent affordable housing to the market and potentially improving the lives of tenants, the units will house many of the same homeless people they housed when classified as shelters.

The Coalition did not spare Cuomo in its assessment either, taking him to task for not increasing the money it puts toward housing vouchers and failing to come up with a better plan to house people leaving prison.

To continue reading click here.

From Zoning to Nursing Care Centers to PAC’s, Selling New York City for Votes – Going for the Presidency Prize…

De Blasio is still selling City Hall, with not an ounce of shame

Mayor de Blasio is back to selling City Hall, if he never even stopped.

In his second term as in his first, the crusading progressive who won the mayoralty vowing to drive out the special interests is instead thoroughly in bed with those same lobbyists and fat-cat donors — and he barely even bothers hiding it.

De Blasio, The City reports, is personally soliciting donations for his latest political action committee — the one financing his delusional presidential ambitions — from people doing business with the city and seeking favorable treatment.

This, just days after the disclosure that the city Department of Investigation concluded that de Blasio had violated conflict-of-interest laws by soliciting cash for his now-defunct nonprofit from those seeking favors — despite being warned against it by his own counsel.

The mayor’s response, now as then: “Everything we’re doing is legal.”

“Legal” meaning “we can get away with it” — because the US Supreme Court has made prosecuting official corruption incredibly difficult these days. But it still reeks.

In his defense, de Blasio says every donation he personally solicits is checked against an official database of entities doing city business. But, as The City shows, that list is “hardly complete.”

To continue reading click here.

Rezoning Projects by the Books in Crown Heights, Hardly… Judge Halts Project

Arrested development: Judge halts controversial Crown Heights project amid legal battle

A Kings County Supreme Court judge slapped a controversial mixed-use development with a temporary restraining order on April 17, after local anti-gentrification advocates claimed the developer used every trick in the book to avoid having to preform a state-mandated environmental-review process, while the city let them get away with it to pave the way for more affordable housing.

We fought the Department of City Planning, and watched our elected officials allow the developer to lie on their applications, so they did not have to be held accountable for creating the largest residential complexes in Brooklyn,” said Alicia Boyd, founder of anti-gentrification group Movement to Protect the People.

The city awarded developers Cornell Realty and Carmel Partners the rights to build two 16-story towers near Franklin Avenue and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden at 40 Crown St. and 931 Carroll St. following a rezoning process that capped off with a December Council vote, where Crown Heights Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo wielded her key vote as the area’s representative to green-light the project, in exchange for the developer’s promise to expand the project’s affordable-housing component from 140 to 258 units.

But Boyd’s suit — which names the Department of City Planning and Cumbo as co-defendants, in addition to Cornell — alleges that the developers lied on re-zoning and building documents to underplay the scope of their proposed mixed-use project, misstating the amount of new residential units included in the development and ignoring vast swaths of affected land in a preliminary assessment of the project.

And fudging the numbers allowed the developers to illegally circumvent a much more thorough environmental review of the project, which the advocates claim would have demonstrated a serious strain on local sewers, roads, and schools as a result of the towers and the influx of new Crown Heights residents they would attract.

To continue reading click here.

Mahna From Heaven, $173M Land Deal, an Appraiser Accused of Embezzlement, A Democratic Heavyweight – de Blasio Donor and a Delayed FOIA Request

De Blasio hands over appraisals after weeks of evasion

De Blasio hands over appraisals after weeks of evasion

One of the appraisers hired by two shady landlords to value properties they would sell to the city for $173 million was fired from his firm amid allegations of embezzlement, misappropriation and fraud, court records and city appraisal documents show.

Joel Leitner, who formerly worked for BBG Inc. before his acrimonious departure from the appraisal firm, submitted a $200 million appraisal on the 17 properties in Jan. 2018, documents released late Monday afternoon by City Hall show.

Just months after Leitner finished his appraisal, BBG alleged on May 29 in state Supreme Court that Leitner’s behavior at the firm constituted “embezzlement, material misappropriation, fraud and dishonesty.” The allegations were made as part of a counterclaim the firm filed in response to Leitner suing over being fired by the firm.

Leitner and BBG were working for the Podolsky brothers, two shady landlords who just sold the buildings earlier this month to the city after years of charging taxpayers exorbitant fees to house homeless people in them.

Stuart Podolsky (left) and Jay Podolsky (right) from Park West Hotel are pictured Feb. 15, 1988. The Podolskys are the sons of notorious slumlord Zenek Podolsky.
Stuart Podolsky (left) and Jay Podolsky (right) from Park West Hotel are pictured Feb. 15, 1988. The Podolskys are the sons of notorious slumlord Zenek Podolsky. ((Clarence Davis)/New York Daily News)

Court filings do not indicate that Leitner’s work on the Podolsky appraisal had anything to do with the firm’s decision to fire him in April 2018.

During a Q and A with reporters Monday, city Social Services Commissioner Steve Banks suggested the firm is well-respected.

“They have experience working regularly on affordable housing,” he said.

Leitner’s appraisal handiwork went on full display late Monday afternoon when the city released documents connected to the controversial land deal that’s taken heat for its lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest.

The release of almost 2,000 pages of redacted appraisal documents came a month after the Daily News requested the records be made public and weeks after Comptroller Scott Stringer slapped City Hall with a subpoena to obtain them.

To continue reading click here.

From $50M to $143M, “Real” Estate Appraisals, a Financial Windfall and a Power Broker

Unreal estate: Probe de Blasio’s purchase of 17 buildings from two slumlord brothers

Unreal estate: Probe de Blasio’s purchase of 17 buildings from two slumlord brothers

Two slumlord brothers with a Friend-of-Bill lawyer who’s been scaring up checks for the mayor’s national political action committee just got a $173 million payday when the de Blasio administration decided to buy 17 of their buildings and convert them from lousy cluster-site apartments for the homeless to permanent affordable housing.

Then the city refused to turn over its appraisals for the properties, the first of which said the buildings were worth about $50 million, the second of which, by an independent contractor, put their value at $143 million.

To continue reading click here.