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Huang pleads guilty to illegal sales

Alice Huang walks with lawyers after she and husband Tommy Huang were charged with marketing and developing property after they were banned from doing so. Photo by Ellis Kaplan
TimesLedger Newspapers

Infamous Queens developer Tommy Huang has pleaded guilty to making illegal transactions under the table after the state ordered him to stop building and selling condos, the state attorney general said Wednesday.

Huang, 59, and his wife, Alice, 60, entered felony guilty pleas in Queens Supreme Court this week and will return $3.3 million in illegal profits and an additional $1.5 million in penalties in lieu of jail time, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Wednesday.

The attorney general said the couple conspired this time with their son Henry Huang, 35, to sell condo units at the Elmhurst Broadway Tower Condominium, a property they developed in 2008, despite being barred permanently from the real estate securities industry by the state.

“Mr. Huang’s misconduct stretches back decades and includes unsafe construction sites, environmental crimes, building code violations and fraudulent securities transactions — all in Queens,” Schneiderman said. “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.”

The couple’s plea agreement required them to give up ownership of the Elmhurst condos and pay back their hefty profits, Schneiderman said. They will also be blocked along with their son from construction and real estate in New York for at least five years.

“I am glad to know that Queens’ most notorious developers, Tommy and Alice Huang, who have negatively impacted the lives of so many of my constituents, are being held accountable and are being forced out of the real estate market,” said City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), who represents the Elmhurst community where Huang’s latest escapades ensued.

Huang pleaded guilty in 1999 to damaging the landmarked interior of the RKO Keith’s Theatre in downtown Flushing and was sentenced to five years’ probation by the attorney general’s office.

His most recent guilty pleas evolved from a court order that came out of his legal troubles in the late 1990s when he was ordered not to sell condominiums or other cooperative realty interests in the state. The AG said the couple cheated homebuyers and failed to pay common charges on unsold apartments at the Flushing Tower Condominium.

Under the plea deal, the Huangs must surrender their ownership of the Elmhurst condominium.

“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,” said state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone). “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.”

Late last year, Huang was scrutinized once again when Bayside’s Community Board 11 blocked him from completing his properties under construction at 39-39 223rd St. and 39-01, 39-15 and 39-19 Mia Drive near the Cross Island Parkway.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) has been a longtime critic of Huang’s involvement with the real estate industry and said the family must be banned from development altogether.

“The Huangs have been a scourge on the Queens community for as long as I’ve been in office,” Avella said. “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.”

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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