Letting out a New York apartment has gone from being a lucrative investment opportunity to a complete nightmare for one man after he discovered it was being used for illegal poker games, sex trafficking, prostitution and parties…
Mitch Spaiser bought the $6.9million Murray Hill townhouse back in 2012 and rented it out as two apartments, for up to $16,000 a month, but that turned sour in late November 2020.
According to court documents, the impressive East 36th Street brownstone became a noisy and tawdry “members only” club after Spaiser’s original tenant, Patricia Taub, sublet her 3,0000 square foot, 5-bedroom unit within the building.
Complaints soon poured in, with the NYPD receiving 14 complaints about loud music from November 2020 to March of 2021.
One complaint to the Department of Buildings in December 2020 read:
“It appears that they are using the apartment as a club. Loud music, marijuana smell, not following social distancing rules. Not wearing masks. Two men that act as bouncers standing outside. This happens on the weekend.”
Social media posts show a poker table taking pride of place in one room, with a $1000 minimum buy-in poker game being run by a man known as “BigBodyYatti”.
That would appear to be the nickname for Kenyatti Adams, who is alleged in legal documents to have “strongarmed” his way into the property, which Taub had sublet to Ashley Jurman.
Court papers allege:
“Adams is using the … premises to host illegal poker games, to host sex trafficking and prostitution activities, and to hold illegal afterhours parties. He mainly enters on the weekend and leaves during the weekdays.”
The New York Post has shared videos of the premises, with one displaying a naked man and a purported prostitute breaking into the upstairs penthouse apartment rented by Shan Haider.
“I complained so many times,” Haider stated, revealing that the parties would sometimes only start at 4am.
The owner of the townhouse, Spaiser, has claimed his life was made hell because of the squatters and their illegal activities.
“I was getting calls from people in the neighborhood like threatening my life,” he said, explaining that when he tried to evict the sub-tenant, she demanded “tens of thousands” of dollars to leave.
Adams, who admits to playing poker in the apartment but refutes any allegations of illegality, has said he has been unable to pay the rent due to hardship caused by Covid-19.
That brought an angry response from Spaiser’s lawyer, Victor Feraru, who stated:
“This is a case of the most egregious abuse of New York’s tenant protection laws being wrongfully used by bad actors to manipulate and take advantage of the system at the expense of the owners.”
The court case continues.
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