Continuation of The Failure of Urban Black Leaders and Inner City Nightmares
Directly within Harlem around Al Sharpton’s Action Network is Manhattan Ave @ W. 123rd Street. It is ironically directly across from NYPD 28th precinct.
The building harbors drug dealers and many of whom are Section 8 tenants. Not just marijuana, but crack, cocaine, heroin, and meth.
And get this, the building’s owner, Drax Realty Corp* / Sam Kiva Finkelstein, personally delivers invoices to his tenants, including documentation for his subsidized renters. Finkelstein, a few days before rent is due, knocks on each door and personally hands the rental invoice to whomever answers the door. Therefore, Finkelstein is well aware of who lives in his building and with whom. Sam Kiva Finkelstein is also a supposed Hasidic Jew, as in he wears the garb, but doesn’t practice the ethical values of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses & Joshua, therefore, this could be a disguise, especially given he’s hiding his name from others. If you have to hide your real name, you must be hiding something else.
Instead of helping the NYPD by installing surveillance equipment which would help in many ways, Finkelstein just keeps focusing on taking the money from the federal government instead. Numerous 911 and 311 calls almost daily are dispatched to the 28th precinct which is located across the street from his building.
Now, this building is in a prime location: 1 block from historic 125th street, off St. Nicholas, 2 blocks from Apollo Theater, across from redeveloped brownstones and easy access to A,C, B, D subway lines, as in less than a block, including to M60 bus to La Guardia/JFK airports. Plus central to 4,5 and 2,3 subway lines. And walking distance to Central Park North.
While other residents are paying $1,000 to $4,000 a month for rent, several residents are receiving reduced rent, but are also drug dealers (crack cocaine, heroin and meth), if not addicts attracting other addicts. Almost the entire top floor was taken over for the distribution of drugs via a meth lab. NYPD has made numerous drug arrests via stings.
A first floor apartment, and it’s the 1st apartment you see upon entering building, houses a resident who primarily uses and deals cocaine and is part of a identity theft ring – his friends access banking records of deceased persons, then establish identities, credit, etc. He’s claiming to be disabled (and receiving benefits) to avoid paying more than $25 each in child support to two different women. We (taxpayers) are paying for his children. His rent: $550 a month. And, of course, he has illegal cable – non-Time Warner wiring run publicly outside of building to his illegal converter box. Not to mention, he can travel around the country, of course, for “his business”, as well as stands outside of the building for hours at a time when he decides to venture back to his low-rent apartment.
The reason I mention Sharpton: these same problem residents are also part of Sharpton’s supporters, and of course, are quick to denounce law enforcement for anything. And, of course, these same people blame “the man” or anyone who doesn’t support their illegal activity for their problems. Again, I don’t understand this “blame” because during Jim Crow, there were less options than there are today, yet “self respect” was the norm in spite of conditions.
Undocumented residents (illegal immigrants) also reside in the building. The building’s super is responsible for many of the undocumented, who start off hidden in the basement, then upon getting “paperwork” together, somehow manage to get an apartment, which will then house many occupants in a one or two bedroom apartment.
Finkelstein isn’t concerned about either issue. Finkelstein is more concerned about folks not knowing his name is Finkelstein, which is why he opts to use an alias of “Kiva”. Apparently, he’s playing hide the other assets from the federal government while receiving federal dollars for his tenants!
Hasidic Jews and African-Americans have a history of not getting along in the NYC area. Go figure! Because in this case, they’re working well together scamming and harming on all sides. However, again, not sure if Kiva-Finkelstein is actually Hasidic. Finkelstein is quick to throw out anti-Semitic accusations and expects to be revered while he himself isn’t Semitic and ignores laws based upon his religion.
Finkelstein’s attorney, John Robalina of Rappaport, Hertz, Cherson & Rosenthal, also knowingly files and makes false statements on behalf on Finkelstein, and helps protect his identity while railroading tenants trying to make things better. But hey, everyone wants a shady lawyer to do their dirty work! In Robalina’s case, he’s also got a court flunkie on the take, Dennis J. Sheridan, to assist with the court scams, i.e., cover up the dirt. And Robalina is in bad shape financially, and needs the money to pay for his kid’s expenses. Nothing worse than a broke attorney working for an organized criminal, or someone who is aiding and abetting organized crime.
Either way, this is out of control. Because I don’t think multi-million dollar property owners, who also receive federal funding should also be aiding and abetting drug dealing and other scams. Residents, who are allowed reduced rent, should continually be re-verified, as well as monitored to prevent fraud. Sam Kiva-Finkelstein clearly is not doing this as these residents have lived in the same apartments for numerous years, including up to 10 years.
How do I know all this? When a realtor referred me to Kiva-Finkelstein’s building for an apartment, I quickly discovered not only was apartment a scam, but met the president of the tenants association, as well as the other residents mentioned above. The apartment I was referred to was huge and nice, but it was a Section 8 apartment, illegally placed on the market by the resident receiving Section 8 – the plan was to make $$ at fair market value $1000-4000 a month, while receiving Sect. 8. 2 years later, and after 10 years of residing in apartment, the resident was finally evicted just last week (week of July 11th), BUT after more federal funds were received.
I also paid substantially for that realtor scam, not to mention, what I saw during this process was beyond shocking. Foul and illegal actions were done with excuses. Then, I’d happen to catch a portion of the news, only to hear Al Sharpton complaining about the NYPD with me thinking, “how the hell do you figure that?!”.
After hearing Sharpton and other black leaders and community members repeatedly complain unfairly about the NYPD, I notified Al Sharpton’s National Action Network of my experience and what I witnessed. Their response: NOTHING! Not even so much as a “thank you for your letter.” Their primary focus: the Sean Bell case and vilifying the NYPD!
And Finkelstein’s response: first deny he is Finkelstein, then lie through an attorney (John Robalina), who if licensed, should be brought before the bar association. Finkelstein’s attorney PUBLICLY and in a court case stated the Section 8 resident listing her apartment repeatedly for profit, was not a resident of the apartment after December 2006 and even presented a signed document (dated May 2008 and related to a May 2008 eviction) from the Section 8 tenant. The nonstop police responses to this same Section 8 tenant’s apartment involving assaults and more prove otherwise. The tenant also moved out just last week (week ending July 11, 2008), not May 2008. There was probably another scam related to back-dating her move-out date, and given the history of Finkelstein, money would have been given to tenant to sign a back-dated document!
The president of the tenants association trying to stop the nonsense is currently being evicted by Finkelstein! He is considered a “problem” because he continually reports the problems in building to Finkelstein, as well as to other agencies. And unfortunately, agencies are too overwhelmed to address the issues reported, so many problems remain at taxpayers’ expense.
So let’s give Sharpton’s Action Network and the local NAACP a hand for being proactive and leading by example directly in their own community! But, of course, Sharpton’s Action Network, nor the local NAACP, wouldn’t even look into resolving these ongoing problems, which become nightmares for entire communities. And the problems are not just at this location, but many others throughout Harlem. I’m sure Sharpton’s Action Network’s concern will be scrutinizing an officer if a shooting occurs while arresting one of the drug dealers or their customers.
* If you searched for this page because of Kiva, Finkelstein or DRAX Realty Corp, yes this would be the same one located at PO Box 180-218 Kensington Station, Brooklyn NY 11218 Phone: 718-853-0602, 917-216-5050