Posted by SamE on June 30, 2001 at 23:15:06:
Landlord of Collapsed Building Is to Pay
$1 Million to Victims
BY ALAN FEUER
A Brooklyn landlord who owned a building in Williamsburg that
collapsed two years ago, killing a day laborer in a torrential slide
of wet concrete, agreed yesterday to pay $1 million in restitution
to the victims of the accident.
The agreement by the landlord, Eugene Ostreicher, was revealed
in Federal District Court in Brooklyn as he pleaded guilty to lying
to federal investigators about another building he owned in
Williamsburg that had collapsed in 1996. Under his deal with the
federal government, Mr. Ostreicher, who is also a contractor,
could spend up to six months in prison for making false
statements; he is required to pay $100,000 in fines to the federal
Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The investigation of Mr. Ostreicher, 70, began shortly after a row
house at 50 Middleton Street in Williamsburg collapsed on Nov.
23, 1999. Ten workers were injured, and one of them, Eduardo
Daniel, 22, died.
During the inquiry, federal investigators questioned Mr.
Ostreicher about a partial collapse in March 1996 at a property he
owned at 25-49 Lorimer Street, directly behind the Middleton
Street row house. At the time, Mr. Ostreicher told the
investigators that the collapse had never occurred, but he admitted
in court yesterday that he had lied.
The case was thrust into the realm of city politics when a handful
of Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's closest aides were questioned by
investigators who were looking into the relationship between City
Hall and certain Orthodox Jewish developers, including Mr.
Ostreicher. Bruce J. Teitelbaum, Mr. Giuliani's chief fund- raiser
and former chief of staff, and Anthony V. Carbonetti, the current
chief of staff, were interviewed during the investigation. But Mr.
Ostreicher's lawyer, Frank B. Mandel, said yesterday that politics
had had nothing to do with the case.
"All of the political allegations were bogus," Mr. Mandel said.
"They were red herrings from the beginning."
Although Mr. Ostreicher had been under investigation by state and
federal authorities for nearly 18 months, the proceedings
yesterday were brief: he was charged and arraigned and pleaded
guilty within a span of 25 minutes. As part of his deal with the
government, he has been banned for life from the construction
Mr. Ostreicher is to be sentenced in Brooklyn Federal Court on
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