Convicted fraudster, Steven Green, loses local properties

Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 12:54am
Steven Green's local properties, including six apartment complexes, sold at a foreclosure sale last week. File

He owes his lenders tens of millions, faces a prison term of nearly three years, and “often shreds the bed linens with his teeth when frustrated,” according to his lawyer.

Meet Steven Green — former New York philanthropist, major investor in Nashville real estate and traumatic-head-injury patient.

A foreclosure sale last week left six of his Nashville-area apartment complexes in the hands of publicly traded BRT Realty Trust, to which Green owes about $36.6 million in loans. New York-based BRT paid a total of $28.4 million at public auction to take title to the Archwood, Crestbrook Meadows, Highland Ridge and Lamplighter apartments in Madison, the Arbors of Southern Hills in Nashville and Enon Springs Apartments in Smyrna.

Green, 43, started buying Nashville multifamily real estate early in this decade after building up substantial apartment portfolios in the New York City area and South Florida. His repeated failure to correct codes violations in New York led the city to impose millions in fines and led The New York Post to dub him “the landlord from hell.”

Green also became a prominent donor and fund-raiser in New York and Nantucket, hosting events at his luxury homes in both locations to benefit AIDS research, gang prevention, care for the developmentally disabled and other causes.

The unraveling of Green’s business empire began after a bank discovered he had used a fake Social Security number to obtain a $9 million loan on a Tampa apartment complex. It later emerged that he had also not filed tax returns with the IRS from 1999 through 2001.

In September 2006, Green entered a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. He admitted one count of fraudulent misuse of a Social Security number and three counts of failure to file taxes. His defense team presented character references from numerous people involved in charity work with Green, including actress Lorraine Bracco.

Bracco, who played psychiatrist Jennifer Melfi on The Sopranos, called Green “a pillar of strength and a person all his friends lean on,” saying his absence would hurt “the charitable organizations that rely on his focus and determination.”

On Feb. 26, 2007, Green was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $4.1 million in restitution.

Yet he was not finished making apartment deals in Nashville — and BRT was not finished financing them for him. On March 30, 2007, just 32 days after a judge pronounced his sentence for defrauding a lender, BRT loaned Green $11.4 million to buy the Highland Ridge property.

And in July 2007, BRT extended one more loan to him, an additional $500,000, secured by all of the properties that are now in foreclosure.

Efforts to reach someone at BRT who might explain why it would keep loaning money to a convicted felon were unsuccessful.

Green made the Highland Ridge purchase while he was supposed to be winding up his business affairs before reporting to prison. The judge had given him 120 days to do so. But after what happened in the early morning of May 9, 2007, however, Green may never serve a day of his sentence.

Leaving a midtown Manhattan nightclub to get into his silver Rolls Royce parked across the street, Green stepped into West 51st Street just as a speeding Crown Victoria ran the red light at a nearby intersection. The car struck Green, vaulting him some 15 feet before he crashed to the pavement, and drove away.

Green was admitted to a hospital in critical condition. Although the St. Petersburg Times quoted his attorney the next day as saying “his condition is good” and “he’ll be up and about,” another lawyer later told the federal court in Florida that Green remained in a coma for 40 days.

On medical grounds, the judge granted extensions of Green’s prison reporting date to January 2008 and then to this month. Late last month, attorney Edward M. Kratt petitioned the court on Green’s behalf for a further extension.

Kratt cited physicians’ reports that Green had suffered “severe physical and cognitive impairment resulting from severe traumatic brain injury” and that the damage “will most likely be permanent.”

Green currently receives “twenty-four hour care, necessary to provide basic physical and hygienic maintenance,” Kratt wrote. “He cannot stand or walk by himself.”

“Steven often shreds the bed linens with his teeth when frustrated. He must oft-times be physically restrained for his safety, as well as the safety of his caregivers,” Kratt wrote.

On the basis of that report, the judge granted another six-month extension of Green’s imprisonment date.

STEVEN GREEN’S NASHVILLE-AREA PROPERTIES

The Arbors of Southern Hills

371 Wallace Road

Nashville, TN 37211

Crestbrook Meadows Apartments

221 Aurora Ave.

Madison, TN 37115

Highland Ridge Apartments

721 Due West Ave. N.

Madison, TN 37115

Archwood Meadows Apartments

110 Archwood Place

Madison, TN 37115

Lamplighter Apartments

300 Kate St.

Madison, TN 37115

Enon Springs Apartments

417 Enon Springs Road E.

Smyrna, TN 37167

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By: courier37027 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Too bad this fraud could not get part of the Predators' deal. All he should have done was get Boots' secretary to forge some note, claiming he was worth millions. Great due diligence there, Preds ownership.

By: develop12344321 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

The boys at Waller fleeced the City on the preds deal.