Ed Day, Rockland County Executive


January 8, 2018

Contact: Jane Lerner, Director of Strategic Communications
Office of the County Executive (845) 638-5645

Rockland County Files Lawsuit Against Phony Landlords

NEW CITY, NY – Rockland County has filed a lawsuit against two men who illegally occupied and rented a property that was foreclosed by the County after they failed to pay $54,000 in taxes, Rockland County Executive Ed Day announced.

The lawsuit alleges that Joseph Greenbaum and Elazer Dancziger allowed new tenants to rent apartments at 749 North Main St., New Hempstead, after the County became owner of the property.

"Their actions were not only illegal, they were outrageous," said County Executive Day. "It's a scam – like renting the Brooklyn Bridge. They represented that they owned a property that they did not own."

In a complaint filed in Rockland County Supreme Court, the county is seeking to recover damages for the unlawful occupation of the property.

Rockland County took the deed for the property, a single-family residence, on Sept. 18 in a foreclosure action.

Greenbaum, the property owner, had failed to pay taxes on the property since 2012.

"We make every effort to work with owners," Day said. "But every time a property owner does not pay taxes, that means every other property owner has to pay more. That is wrong."

A year ago, another property owned by Greenbaum, a small grocery store at 137 North Main St., Spring Valley, was just hours away from being auctioned in a foreclosure sale when he paid an outstanding $37,196 tax bill.

"This property owner is clearly aware of the consequences of not paying your taxes," Day said. "This is not a joke."

After the County took possession of 749 North Main St., all tenants were told they had to move.

Assistance was offered to the tenants and a check of the property showed that it had been vacated.

The County later learned that after the foreclosure, Greenbaum and Dancziger rented out the units to new tenants.

Tenants told investigators that they had paid $2,000 in rent per unit to Dancziger, the property manager.

The County is helping the tenants find a new places to live.

"It is not the policy of the County to be in business as a landlord," Day said. "We understand that these tenants are victims in this situation – they had no idea they were being scammed."

The case has been referred to the Rockland County Sheriff's Department for criminal investigation.

Records also show that Dancziger runs medical transport businesses, Yad Ezrah Inc., and Medway from the address.