Landlords Joel and Aaron Israel were arrested Thursday on criminal charges for allegedly intentionally destroying apartments they own in Greenpoint and Bushwick and lying to the court about it, the Times and many other outlets reported yesterday. The brothers have been in the news for about two years after reportedly destroying kitchens, baths, gas lines and hot water heaters of longtime tenants at several buildings in Brooklyn to force them out and increase rents to market rate for newcomers.
The cases have been winding through housing court. Criminal charges in such cases are unusual — but then so are the alleged actions of the accused. (more…)