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Management Issues

Publication Date: Spring 1998

RESTITUTION FUND TO BE DISTRIBUTED

Four years after an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office revealed that some cooperatives and condominiums had been victims of overcharges by vendors and kickbacks to building agents, management firms or board members, possible victims have been invited to document their eligibility for restitution.

The DA's investigation of several management companies was based on information from vendors. As wrongdoing was discovered, the DA established a Restitution Fund into which guilty entities were required to make payments. The fund now totals close to $4 million (of which $3 million has actually been collected).

In 1997, the law firm of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman has been appointed to distribute the fund. They have invited all buildings who were served by indicted firms or agents during the investigation period (1986 to 1993) to complete a form detailing expenditures for building improvements during that time. The building does not need to document any loss. These forms must be returned to the firm by June 15, 1998.

Once the firm has collected the data, it will decide upon equitable distribution of the available funds. There is presently no way of determining what amount a participating building might recover.

Through its workshops and publications, CNYC has helped boards become more vigilant. Also see a detailed report on CNYC's workshop on Detecting and Preventing Fraud and Kickbacks, presented at its last annual Cooperative Housing Conference.

 
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