The brother of murdered Satmar slumlord Menachem "Max" Stark appears to have grown fat off government money meant for those who cannot afford Brooklyn’s skyrocketing rents. Proof of Aron "Al" Stark's alleged fraud surfaced in court while he was trying to illegally evict a low-rent tenant in white-hot Brooklyn Bushwick neighborhood.
Above: Menachem "Max" Stark
Murdered Satmar slumlord Menachem "Max" Stark's brother Aron is in trouble with law and could do serious federal prison time – if the feds prosecute him.
The Brooklyn Paper has a long report. Here is an extended excerpt:
The brother of a murdered Williamsburg landlord may have grown fat off government money meant for those who cannot afford Brooklyn’s skyrocketing rents, and the proof may have surfaced while he was trying to evict a low-rent tenant in white-hot Bushwick.
Aron “Al” Stark spent nearly two years trying to evict a rent-stabilized renter in Bushwick, but it backfired this January when, after a three-day trial, Judge Marcia Sikowitz nixed the eviction and called him “not a credible witness,” saying he had lied in a dizzying array of statements to the court, misrepresenting things as basic as his address, his children’s ages, as well as his years living on public-housing money while raking in income from four rental properties. The city’s Department of Investigations is now looking into the possible fraud revealed in court, according to a New York City Housing Authority spokeswoman.
Stark collected tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars in Section 8 vouchers, rent subsidies that allow poor people to rent private apartments, and had the city Housing Authority send them to his associate at an upstate house owned by his relative, Bushwick tenant Judtih Fringo’s attorney found. The judge agreed, and the lawyer said evidence of the scheme destroyed any chance he had of evicting Fringo, a hairstylist and mother of two, from her apartment of 12 years.
“We got kind of lucky in this case in discovering the Section 8 violations, which blew up his credibility,” said Sarah Robinson, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society.…
• On a Section 8 form filled out in 2012, when his rent was $1,386 and he was paying $175 out of pocket, Stark listed his annual income as $5,200 and told housing officials he had no real estate interests, despite his having acquired three rental properties in Bushwick in 2007, and a fourth, the Greene Avenue building, in 2008.
• For a time period unspecified in the judge’s ruling, Stark collected Section 8 for a second apartment, in Manhattan.
• On a $1.1-million mortgage for two of his rental buildings, he listed the Monsey, New York address. When asked why he was getting mail there rather than in Brooklyn, he said the upstate address was “safe,” whereas getting mail in New York City is not, a rationale the judge wrote “makes no sense.”
• Stark testified that, though he had once listed the Monsey house as his primary address, he had only spent summers there following his divorce. He said the house is now owned by Ignat Stark, a relative who he claims to have never met.…
A man who answered Stark’s cellphone and identified himself as his business partner said that Stark was in Argentina until the late summer and that he could not be reached. Stark did not respond to a request for comment made through Facebook.…
Read it all here.