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Lawyers Helping Others Commit Fraud?

Lawyers allegedly tied to a real estate scam in New York.

“Bad Ass” developer faces $18M suit from Bronx buyers

December 23, 2013, therealdeal.com/blog/2013/12/23

A developer that operated under a LLC called the Bad Ass Group was hit with an $18 million class action lawsuit over an alleged scam involving low-quality homes.

A group of 12 Bronx homeowners alleged in New York State Supreme Court that they were hurried into purchasing homes that were poorly constructed. Soon after moving in, they said they encountered black mold, leaky roofs, broken boilers and plumbing problems. The eight individuals named in the suit — including real estate agents and architects — failed to obtain permanent certificates of occupancy for the properties, and referred the complaining homeowners to lawyers who were tied to the scheme, according to the plaintiffs, the New York Daily News reported.

The homeowners seek damages for alleged offenses such as fraud, conspiracy, negligence, breach of contract and attorney malpractice. They also accused the city Department of Buildings of being negligent in issuing temporary approvals before the homes underwent inspection.

Johanny De La Cruz paid $670,000 for a three-family house in Soundview, Bronx, in 2006, while Martha Diaz paid $618,000 for a two-family home elsewhere in the borough in 2006, according to the suit.

State Senator Jeff Klein of Riverdale plans to hold an open house next month to offer legal aid to other victims of the alleged scam, the Daily News said. [NYDN] — Mark Maurer

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