New York state accuses Brooklyn co-op managing agent of defrauding elderly shareholders

By Marian Johns | Feb 19, 2019

NEW YORK — The state of New York is suing a managing agent of a Brooklyn cooperatively owned apartment building for allegedly defrauding elderly co-op shareholders through the "below market sale" of apartments and hiding a $100,000 commission.

According to the New York Attorney General's Office, Joshua Prottas, Working Realty Ltd. and Midwood Coop Group LLC defrauded elderly co-op shareholders by coordinating a sale to Midwood Coop Group, an entity controlled by Prottas. 

Prottas deceived the elderly board members with false information regarding the sale and withheld information on the sale from the members, the Attorney General's Office said. Prottas also hid his $100,000 commission from the sale from the board members with fraudulent documents filed with the New York City Office of Register, according to the attorney general. Prottas is also accused of lending to the co-op with "predatory interest rates" and did not get authorization for management fee increases.

“Taking advantage of elderly New Yorkers is particularly egregious,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.  “Instead of acting in the best interests of the cooperative and its residents, the defendants allegedly scammed these individuals and used the funds for personal gain. We will never tolerate that behavior in our state.”

James seeks restitution and damages, disgorgement from the defendants and enjoining Prottas and Working Realty from serving as the co-op's managing agent or broker, James' office said. 

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