FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Balestriere Fariello, in conjunction with the New York City Law Department and the New York City Department of Buildings, announced yesterday a $200,000 settlement with the owners of the Maritime Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel located in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. The lawsuit, which was made public this week, was brought in 2011 by Jeffrey Groppi, on behalf of the City of New York, against numerous properties that appeared to be systematically misreporting construction costs to the Department of Buildings in order to save on permit fees. While Mr. Groppi passed away in 2015, after relentlessly working on this matter for years, his estate continues to litigate this action with the assistance of Balestriere Fariello.
“We look forward to our continued investigations and prosecutions of any developers who have defrauded New York City out of the permit fees that they were required by law to pay,” said former Manhattan prosecutor John G. Balestriere of Balestriere Fariello. “While I am proud of the diligent work of Mr. Groppi and team over the past six years, our work here is not done. We will not rest until we obtain remedies from all liable parties, and we have reason to believe that this practice is systemic throughout the New York City construction industry.”
Mr. Groppi, who spent most of his life working in the construction and real estate industries, learned of this fraud against New York City in 2007, when he discovered that an owner of a building had understated the cost of certain construction work by $3.9 million. After informing the Department of Buildings of this understatement—which had allowed the building to pay only one-fortieth of the permit fee it was required to pay—Mr. Groppi continued his investigation with the assistance of Balestriere Fariello.
Under the New York False Claims Act, the majority of all funds recovered will go to the City of New York.
Balestriere Fariello is a trials and investigations law firm that represents individuals, companies, and institutions in criminal and civil matters in trial and appellate courts, regulatory proceedings, negotiations, arbitrations, and grand jury matters. The firm is unique: unlike most firms, it combines a complex and sophisticated litigation background and hard-nosed negotiation experience with the willingness and ability to push cases to trial and win.
Contact: Balestriere Fariello