Herman Epstein, a notorious Brooklyn slumlord, was sentenced to up to six years in prison after being found guilty of bribing city officials to avoid making necessary repairs — and threatening tenants to force them to move.
He even told one tenant he would spread rumors about her engaging in incest if she didn’t get out of her apartment.
“Move out or I will start a rumor that you slept with your daughter,” he threatened one tenant in recorded call, according to court papers. “I am gonna screw you.”
Epstein, prosecutors demonstrated, paid out more than $500,000 in bribes to building inspectors so they would ignore violations of the city’s safe housing code in their check-ins.
Epstein left cash in paper bags for housing inspectors to ignore violations and plied them with gifts like a Nissan SUV and a Royal Caribbean Cruise.
He also tried to illegally evict tenants at some of his 100 properties spread throughout the city.
Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.
Slumlord Herman Epstein Gets 6 Years