A.G. Schneiderman Announces Felony Guilty Pleas Of Notorious Queens Developers Tommy And Alice Huang
Huangs Agree To Turn Over $3.3 Million In Illegally Obtained Profits, Pay $1.5 Million In Penalties And Surrender Certain Real Estate Holdings
With A Prior Criminal Conviction, Tommy Huang Is Banned From New York Construction And Real Estate Industries
A.G. Schneiderman: We Will Take On Developers Who Operate Illegally
NEW YORK -- Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the felony guilty pleas of real estate developer Tommy Huang and his wife, Alice Huang, in Queens Supreme Court. The Huangs admitted to committingfelony securities fraud related to the development and sale of condominium units at the Broadway Tower Condominium in Elmhurst, Queens.
Under an agreed upon plea deal, husband and wife will turn over $3.3 million in illegal profits and $1.5 million in penalties, fees and costs to the state as part of their sentence. In addition, Tommy Huang is being banned from working in New York construction and real estate businesses for a minimum of five years and the couple’s son, Henry Huang, who helped his parents circumvent a 1999 court order banning them for operating in New York’s securities markets, also faces a ban.
“Today we are holding Tommy and Alice Huang and their son accountable for fraudulent business practices. We’re requiring the Huangs to pay back their ill-gotten gains with a hefty fine that sends the message—enough is enough,”Attorney General Schneidermansaid. “Mr. Huang's misconduct stretches back decades and includes unsafe construction sites, environmental crimes, building code violations and fraudulent securities transactions – all in Queens. This egregious and unscrupulous greed on the part of the Huangs and their blatant disregard for the law and the safety of others must stop.”
Today's guilty pleas stems from Tommy and Alice Huang's flouting of a 1999 court order secured by the Attorney General’s office in Manhattan Supreme Court that permanently barred the Huangs from selling condominiumsand other cooperative realty interests in New York. The couple wasbarred from the real estate securities industry then for cheating homebuyers atanother developmentin Queens, the Flushing Tower Condominium, where the Huangs' failure to pay common charges on unsold apartments left homebuyers in dire financial straits. Despitebeing barred by a courtorder, the Huangs conspired with their son,Henry Huang, 35, to sell condominium units at a new property the trio developed in 2008, the Broadway Tower Condominium, located at 85-23 Broadway in Elmhurst, Queens.
Tommy Huang, 59, andAlice Huang, 60 and an heiress to the Haw Di-I Foods and Bull Head Barbeque Sauce fortune, each pleaded guilty today before Queens Supreme Court Justice Pauline Mullings to one count of felony securities fraud, a Class E felony, under New York's securities law, the Martin Act.
The Huangs admittedtodeveloping andsellingsix commercial and 27 residential units at the Broadway Tower Condominium. Under the plea agreement entered today, the Huangs are required to surrendertheir remaining ownership interests at the Broadway Tower Condominium, whichtheyheld througha shell company. They have also agreed to disgorge all their illegally obtainedprofitsfrom sales at the Broadway TowerCondominium, estimated at $3.3 million, and pay the State an additional $1.5 million in civil penalties, fees and costs.
As part of today's plea agreement, Tommy Huang will also be barred from the construction and real estate industries in New York for at least five years and Henry Huang, who concealed his parents' illegalities by filing false documents with governmental authorities, will be permanently barred from sellinganysecurities, including condominiums and cooperative interests in realty,in New York. Tommy and Alice Huang remain permanently barred from selling securities in New York.
As a condition of their plea, Alice and Tommy Huang must repay a total of $4.8 million to the state and surrender their holdings at the Broadway Tower Condominium before sentencing.
In 1999, Tommy Huang pled guilty to two Class E felonies for damaging the landmarked interior of the RKO Keith's Theater in Flushing, Queens, and was sentenced to five years probation in a case brought by the Attorney General’s office.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshallsaid, “We are grateful to Attorney General Schneiderman for pursuing this case to a successful conclusion and hope that it sends a message to anyone who travels a similar path.”
State Senator Tony Avella said, “The Huangs have been a scourge on the Queens community for as long as I’ve been in office. They have ruined people’s homes and their neighborhoods and I am delighted that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is not only holding them criminally responsible and making them pay - but that he’s getting them out of the business of building in this county for at least five years. I say bravo.”
New York State Senator Toby Ann Staviskysaid, “Law abiding developers are providing jobs and improving our economy. But for over 30 years, Tommy and Alice Huang have been a blight on our community. I congratulate Attorney General Schneiderman in obtaining the guilty pleas on these two unscrupulous developers. Let it be a warning to people committing these types of crimes that the Attorney General is watching. We must do what we can to encourage the responsible developers and put the corrupt in jail."
New York City Councilman Danny Drommsaid, “I am glad to know that Queens’ most notorious developers, Tommy and Alice Huang who have negatively impacted lives of so many of my constituents, are being held accountable and are being forced out of the real estate market. I commend Attorney General Schneiderman for pursuing such a forceful case against them.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Thomas Schellhammer of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau and Katherine J. Hwang of the Real Estate Finance Bureau and Jeffrey Rendin, Chief of Enforcement of the Real Estate Finance Bureau, under the supervision of Gail Heatherly, Bureau Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, Executive Deputy Attorney General of Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan and Executive Deputy Attorney General of Economic Justice Karla G. Sanchez. Assisting in the investigation is Investigator Sylvia Rivera.