A townhouse worth nearly $7 million in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York City has been converted into a club for members only by squatters. The residents of the townhouse host a brothel, poker games and after-hours parties. Now, a lawsuit hopes to get them evicted.
Brothel on 36th Street
According to the New York Post, neighbors complain about noises coming from the East 36th Street apartment with five bedrooms located just off Park Avenue. A man who lives in another apartment of the building said that he caught a naked stranger entering his apartment via video.
Legal documents claim that the problems began when Patricia Taub sublet the apartment, at $16,000 per month and 3,000 feet in size, to Ashley Jurman back in November 2020.
Soon after, partygoers began to form lines outside the building in order to gain entry. One witness claimed that two men were acting like bouncers to manage the crowds.
Inside, anything goes. The media outlet reports that complaints have been made to the Department of Buildings alleging that the premises are used “to host illegal poker, sex trafficking, prostitution activities and to hold illegal after-hours parties.”
Instagram videos promoting parties at home highlight a poker table and black-painted walls.
A social media post stated that a poker game would be held in the apartment for a minimum of $1,000, and there would be drinks and “talent.”
Tracking Down the Culprits
Mitch Spaiser, an investor who purchased the townhouse in 2012, stated that he was constantly receiving complaints about the partying. He said, “I was receiving calls from people in my neighborhood like threatening [my] life.”
Spaiser attempted to expel Jurman, who in turn demanded tens to thousands of dollars to leave. Spaiser filed a lawsuit through his LLC at the state Supreme Court in August. Taub, Jurman, and “John Does” are listed as defendants.
Legal documents claim that Kenyatti Adams lived in the apartment from April 2021. In court papers, he admitted that he is a poker pro but denied any involvement in illegal activities. According to the newspaper, he is still living in the home and does not pay rent because of a COVID-19 hardship.
Adams’ lawyer told the Post that Adams was not a squatter. He had previously paid rent and was not involved in any illegal activities.
However, lawyer Victor Feraru, representing plaintiff Mitch Spaiser, said that Adams was exploiting the system. He stated that this was a case in which New York’s tenant protection laws were wrongly used by bad actors to manipulate the system and profit from it at the expense of owners.
The case, like the parties, is ongoing.