Former Attorneys Take Croman to Court: The Game of Tactics

Greed Bites the Hand That Steals for It
Intro by George Capsis

The hand-cuffed arrest and subsequent arraignment in Criminal Court of activist attorney Arthur and the false anonymous call to the health department that raw sewerage was contaminating the kitchen of Nelly’s restaurant, Lima’s Taste are just two of many actions taken by two different West Village landlords. These landlords use city regulations and false—but expensive to defend—legal and regulatory actions to push out low income tenants so they can enjoy the effulgent largess of exploding Village and City rents.

Shakespeare, cataloging the reasons to end it all in Hamlet’s soliloquy, cites “the law’s delay” and today we can add the cost of justice as a reason (to paraphrase the bard) to make our quietus with a bare bodkin (or commit hari-kari).

Imagine the shock of desperation and despair when Carol Yost, in her seventies, opens a very official envelope instructing her that she is evicted as of March 5 after decades in her Village apartment. (Arthur saved her.)

Or take a young African American attorney living in a Steve Croman brownstone that puts out flowering planters and tends them only to see landlord Croman sitting in the back of a limo watching as his men rip out the plants to make him hesitate to represent the harassed tenants.

We have a tendency to blacken villains to serve our prejudice, but the more incidents I hear about these landlords who have made the Ten Worst Landlords in New York list, the more I realize that the unquestioning embrace of greed wipes out any vestige of morality.

And that goes for paying your lawyers…

Here is an account of how landlord Steve Croman attempts to stiff the lawyers who have been doing his dirty work for seventeen years.

Former Attorneys Take Croman to Court: The Game of Tactics
By Tres Kelvin

Landlord Steve Croman is notorious for somehow getting sweetheart treatment from governmental entities—from the Department of Buildings to the Environmental Control Board to DHCR, all the way to the wrist slapping Politicians.

His favorite Pit Bull is the law firm of Rose & Rose. After over seventeen years of legal services, Rose it seems is no longer needed. Could it be the impotence of every major “enforcing” entity (HPD, ECB, etc.) doing Rose’s job for Croman? Or did his own dog just turn on him?

Rose was the law firm executing thousands of lawsuits on Croman’s behalf, suing real New Yorkers from over one-hundred buildings for the last seventeen years.

In these cases, even if the Tenant wins, the Tenant has spent so much time and money that the battle was not worth winning.

And it’s all legal.

Each tenant removed (otherwise known as “cleared”) brings in tons of cash. The only the cost would be: buying out the tenant (so low and so repeated that Bill “Int. No.757” was introduced to stop the Harassment); renovating the apartment (renovation defined as sending dust and noise towards Rent Regulated Tenants, with or without permits.), and the cost of litigation (now $725,000 cheaper).

However, Croman figured that it was time for the proverbial, new wife and stopped paying the firm in 2013. Rose, deciding to cut their losses, sued for $725,000 in unpaid fees. Croman, in turn, claims that Rose was overbilling but somehow it took Croman seventeen years to catch on.

That’s right—in New York’s Supreme Court, Croman is going to try to get Judge Cynthia Kern to believe that after years of “making” money, it took until now to uncover this ingenious scheme—which he had no idea was going on…for seventeen years.

Croman, in turn, countersued for “fraudulent billing, and punitive damages in an amount no less than $5 million given the severity of The Rose Firm’s intentional wrongdoing.” (According to the NYSCEF Doc. No. 124, p. 98.)

With Rose and Croman choking each other, Judge Kern stepped in and recently issued a decision which strengthened Rose’s grip. J. Kern decided that four out of five of Rose’s Causes of Action (fingers) may remain around Croman’s “neck.” The remaining Causes of Action are: A reasonable invoice unpaid, a Breach of Contract, No value given for work performed and a legal promise broken.

On June 8th, 2015: Croman filed a Counterclaim. The claim is based around the accusation that he was overbilled (breach of [the Attorney’s] duty, Fraud, Unjust Enrichment, etc.). Croman is asking for $5 million dollars.

However, it doesn’t sound too convincing. In his Statement of facts, Croman states that […] as a result of a “cursory” review of The Rose Firm’s bills…” He requested an explanation for what “appeared” to be inflated rates for costs and disbursements”. “Cursory” and “appeared to be”?

Was it mentioned that these “inflated rates” slipped by Croman? Some of them slipped right on into many monthly rent Bills sent to the Tenants…for seventeen yea— Oh, never mind.

Yes, it will be a tough sell for him to claim he was damaged, let alone that those damages add up to $5 million dollars.

With Rose’s help, Croman was able to borrow more money from the “cleared” buildings equity. However, instead of paying all of his (legal) bills and violations or all the repairs and maintenance—Croman simply bought more buildings. And nobody is stopping him.

There are very few signs that the entities that issue violations (DOB, ECB, DOT, etc.) will ever start to enforce them as they do against the average real New Yorker. However, the NYS Attorney General (Schniederman) declared that he is now investigating Croman. With baited breath, we are waiting to see whether Judge Kern or Schniederman (and now) Rose & Rose can stop the cancerous Donald-Trump-type growth called Steve Croman.


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2 thoughts on “Former Attorneys Take Croman to Court: The Game of Tactics

    • Author gravatar

      West view news 8/15 thanks for more croman article.

      There are 2 sides to every croman case. Employee or attorney or contractor usually end up suing back at croman (example Pdp, tk general, rose &rose etc)

      The lawyer side concentrate on what their client want that involved hide back proof and screw ups.

      The tenant side supported by the media concentrate the harassment that croman start on them.

      As lawyers start a court case and other law firm later take over these already started case. They find problem that don’t benefit them.

    • Author gravatar

      I want to remain unknown as I don’t want to get sued.

      In rose & rose v croman supreme court case. there are over 160 posting of .pdf files in (scroll supreme court online library) internet site just search with case #159165/2014.

      In there contain hundreds of unpaid invoice of croman as summary format and as detail format to the 100+ building R&R serviced and couldn’t get paid/

      Within this batch of invoice it looks like some legal cases croman trick rose & rose into starting the eviction case(s) and then fires rose & rose. Maybe its a trick to get at the law firm if they sue croman croman will have a fightback to win the case and do not have to pay at the same time a trick to get some of his tenant to be harassed and self move out.

      In our deep research into housing court cases where most of the case was filed. we find many cases are return comeback eviction again trying to evict the same tenant where previous cases was lost by croman. These cases was formerly using other law firm to conduct and lost, then years later croman picks Rose & Rose to start again coming forward to start new cases suing for the same subject. At the time R&R starts the case looking at evident or document given to them by croman it may contain false documentation and hide back many proof that can in return hurt Rose & Rose later to become being investigated as malpractice.

      Our research and studies in Croman cases from various court as public record (all you have to do is go to the court computer print out the summary listing of his building and pick those name that have multiple court cases in action and research from there).

      We have also seen croman lawyer (using different ones over time) making pattern behavior accusing tenant for non pay, for illegally having a 2nd apt in addition to their either rent control or rent stabilized apt etc….which is false claim. Croman with proof from earlier cases got the answer to question he has from court with decision favor to tenant keep making return comeback suing the same thing.

      We see court case suing tenant accusing he/she have a 2nd apt elsewhere with rose & rose acting as the starter of eviction and by sending process server delivery eviction to address belonging to tenant of other landlord apt where that picked apt is not the eviction respondent home. Rose & Rose help croman pushing eviction to tenant of other landlord picking their apt accusing croman tenant have 2 apt. and even though they never proof with document sign off by the other building landlord he picks to target what they are complaining about is true…..eviction papers concentrate target the respondent which is croman tenant. Rose & Rose also find starting court eviction for croman accusing croman tenant having a 2nd apt where that apt they pick to target that landlord actually never rented any apt to the picked victim. If you file court paper you must proof with document from the other landlord signed by them saying yes its true. never such seen throughout the court case. Rose & Rose also seen in our research on behalf of croman filing eviction court paper attempt to evict croman tenant by picking business activity of other building landlord accusing them going to the government agency registering tenant namd and applying rent help plus utility help for their tenant illegally….because croman successful to trick rose & rose to start court case on his tenant who claim to be also a tenant of these other landlord building where actually is not true. croman trick rose & rose to make return comeback attacking other landlord building and their tenant ongoing picking the same building to make eviction. He can not use business activity of other landlord turn it around for self use. croman try to get rose & rose to attack his tenant at the same time get the other landlord he picks to attack to also come forward with eviction to that apt he picks to file court…..that other building is not that stupid to do something like this when they are boss to their building and monitor their business activity legally.

      If croman pays that #159*1652014 court awarded decision bills he will be paying false eviction legal business activity coneducted by Rose & Rose.

      Rose & Rose needs to be sued for malpractice.

      Starting the case and using process server to illegally tresspass trying to deliver eviction to building not own by croman is illegally.

      the cases went straight to court. it was never 1st contact tenant asking the question or complaint he has on tenant. as non of this proof was seen filed into court paper.

      us dept of justice needs to investigate all law firm croman used over the years, this include all lawyers, process server etc…

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