Kenneth P. Thompson
June 15, 2016
COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION
Owner of Three-Quarter Houses and his Employee Indicted for
Fraud and Illegal Eviction
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that the owner of a company that operated three-quarter houses in Brooklyn and his employee have been indicted on two counts of first-degree scheme to defraud, six counts of unlawful eviction and related charges.
One defendant, Yury Baumblit, 65, of Brighton Beach, operated Back on Track Inc., a company that rented out three-quarter houses (also known as transitional houses or sober houses). Most tenants in his houses received shelter allowance from the New York City Human Resources Administration and others paid the landlord in cash. The second defendant, Edwin Elie, 42, of Canarsie, acted as Baumblit’s right-hand man and enforced his orders at the houses he operated.
It is alleged that between April 2014 and March 16, 2016, the defendants unlawfully evicted at least 10 tenants who occupied rooms for over 30 days – even though landlords cannot evict a tenant who occupied a room or a bed for 30 consecutive days without a court order. The defendants allegedly repeatedly engaged in tactics to unlawfully evict tenants at multiple residences, including removing tenants’ mattresses and belongings, destroying a stove, and locking buildings during the daytime to prevent residents form returning.
District Attorney Thompson said, “These defendants are charged with taking advantage of vulnerable New Yorkers who were in need of assistance. They provided them with the opposite – allegedly evicting these tenants unlawfully. They have now been indicted and we intend to hold them accountable for their actions.”
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
Read the full press release here.