Tax Accountant Accused by NYC of Helping Run Illegal Airbnb Scheme

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 11, 2019

In a recent lawsuit, New York City accused a Brooklyn tax accountant and a Manhattan real estate broker of using Airbnb to violate its ban on short-term rental apartments, which it says earned the pair $1.2 million over the past four years, according to the Wall Street Journal. The city explicitly bans apartment rentals of 30 days or fewer. Yohan Atlan, the tax accountant, and David Tordjman, executive vice president at commercial brokerage Norman Bobrow and Co., are believed to have used Airbnb to circumvent this ban at three different buildings, renting mostly to tourists. The lawsuit, filed on Jan. 9, also named the buildings' owner, the Torkian Group, which it says ignored flagrant violations of the city's rules against short-term rentals, despite having previously issued a sworn statement that the problems had been resolved. Instead, Atlan and Tordjman resorted to deceptive practices, such as not putting the actual address on their Airbnb listings and instructing renters to meet at a different location to be then taken to the real one. 

Overall, the suit concerns 44 illegal online listings, including 35 on Airbnb. 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.