Prosecutors allege “life threatening” violations to push family out of Harlem home

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Prosecuters say two contractors and a landlord and two contractors intentionally created “life-threatening” conditions at an East Harlem apartment to push a couple and their five young children out of their rent-stabilized home.

Ephriam Vashovsky, the landlord and owner of East 115th St., with property manager and contractor Adam Cohen, 32, and contractor Shaoul Ohana, 56, allegedly made conditions perilous and unlivable for the parents and their children, who range in age from 1 to 12, including leaving them without water and heat and the building at risk of structural collapse.

The New York State Supreme Court indictment against them charges 20 counts, including Reckless Endangerment in the First and Second Degrees, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Coercion in the First Degree, Grand Larceny in the Third and Fourth Degrees, Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and Unlawful Eviction, among other charges.

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“These defendants are charged with turning an East Harlem apartment building into a deathtrap,” said District Attorney Vance. “They forced a family with five young children to endure lifethreatening conditions on some of winter’s coldest nights. As demolition continued around apartment 5E, the entire building was at risk of a devastating fire, or worse, collapse. As alleged, the defendants’ campaign of harassment and intimidation included repeated threats to report the family’s status as undocumented immigrants to authorities in order to command higher rents from this rent-regulated building.”

See the complete news release here.

Images from news release handout

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