A Brooklyn lawyer has agreed to pay a $60,000 fine and accepted a permanent ban from selling securities to resolve allegations he submitted at least nine fraudulent filings to the attorney general’s real estate finance bureau.
Harold Gruber, a 60-year-old solo practitioner, is barred under an agreement with the state from any activity related to the sales of securities in or from New York, including transactions involving apartments and condominium units, according to a press release issued Wednesday by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
In the release, Schneiderman said Gruber “was one of the most prolific filers of offering documents” with the real estate finance bureau. He also said a preliminary injunction in December barring Gruber from securities-related activities will remain in effect permanently as a result of the settlement.
The investigation started after homebuyers at Mirada, a new condominium on 110th Street in Manhattan, complained about water leaks and construction defects and alleged the developer had failed to get a permanent certificate of occupancy from the city.
Schneiderman’s probe revealed that the developers participated in an elaborate ruse to defraud homeowners, and that Gruber facilitated the scam, according to the attorney general’s office.
The investigation was led by Assistant Attorney General Serwat Farooq along with Andrew Meier, Jeffrey Rendin and Erica Buckley, all of the real estate finance bureau. Karla Sanchez, executive deputy attorney general for economic justice, was also involved in the probe.
Gruber was unavailable for comment Wednesday.