Joel Israel, 34, and his brother, Amrom (aka Aaron) Israel, 37, both of Borough Park were indicted on one count of scheme to defraud, one count of second-degree burglary, three counts of third-degree grand larceny, one count of second-degree criminal mischief, three counts of unlawful eviction, three counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and three counts of first-degree falsifying business records.
If convicted, the brothers face up to 15 years alone on the top count of burglary.
“We simply will not allow the hardworking people of Brooklyn to be intimidated and harassed or have their apartments destroyed by those who seek to force them out just to make money from the lucrative real estate market. Rent-stabilized apartments are designed to protect tenants and cannot be turned into market value apartments through intimidation and fraud. It’s against the law and we will investigate and vigorously prosecute those who harass and prey on innocent tenants in Brooklyn,” said Thompson.
Allegations of the brothers’ crimes against tenants have been documented in both the traditional media and posted on YouTube since 2013.
Northern Brooklyn State Sen. Martin Malavé Dilan hailed the bust and noted a senate bill he introduced this year establishing the crime of sabotage of rent regulated accommodation.
“Today’s arrest of the Israel brothers sends a strong message to unscrupulous landlords: justice will be served. At long last the victims of the Israel brothers’ scheme to sabotage units and utilities to force stabilized tenants out will see closure,” said Dilan. “As the allegations against them come to light, I can only hope that greater attention to these criminal acts highlight the need for tougher laws and stiffer penalties to weed out all unscrupulous landlords once and for all. I commend District Attorney Thompson for his diligence and attention to this matter,” said Dilan.