Murray Hill townhouse used for illicit activities: lawsuit

Murray Hill townhouse used for illicit activities: lawsuit


Squatters have turned a $6.9 million Murray Hill townhouse into a depraved den of iniquity with poker games, prostitution and after-hours parties, legal papers allege.

The stately East 36th Street abode, which houses two apartments, turned seedy after tenant Patricia Taub sublet her five-bedroom unit and it ended up becoming a bawdy “members only” club.

Neighbors of the townhouse, just off Park Avenue, complain about loud music, pot smoke and crowding. One man who lives in the building got the unwelcome sight, captured on video, of a half-naked stranger strolling into his apartment — his genitals on full display.

The partying started after Taub, an interior designer from Brazil, sublet the 3,000-square-foot $16,000-a-month triplex in November 2020 to Ashley Jurman, court papers say.

Revelers began lining up to enter the townhouse where they drank and smoked on a balcony that was just feet away from the back of a Park Avenue co-op building.

Kenyatti Adams allegedly strong-armed his way into living in the townhouse.
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“It appears that they are using a apartment as a club. Loud music, marijuana smell, not following social distancing rules. Not wearing mask. Two men that act as bouncers standing outside. This happens on the weekend,” someone complained to the Department of Buildings in December 2020.

The NYPD counted 14 complaints to 311 about loud music from November 2020 to March of 2021.

Shan Haider, who rents the penthouse apartment in the townhouse said loud partying sometimes starts as late as 4 a.m.

“I complained so many times,” he said.

104 East 36th St. in Murray Hill.
Squatters are hosting illegal poker games, prostitution and after-hours parties in the Murry Hill townhouse, legal papers allege.
Helayne Seidman

He said in April 2021, some of the downstairs revelers broke into his apartment while he was out of town and that video captured the man with his pants down walking in with a woman following.

Mitch Spaiser, who bought the townhouse in 2012 as an investment, said he was inundated with complaints about the partying.

“I was getting calls from people in the neighborhood like threatening my life,” he said.

Spaiser tried to evict Jurman who, in turn, demanded tens of thousands of dollars to leave, according to a lawsuit Spaiser filed through his LLC in state Supreme Court in August. Taub, Jurman and “John Does” are named as defendants.

104 East 36th St. in Murray Hill.
Neighbors of the townhouse have complained about loud music, pot smoke and crowding.
Helayne Seidman

One of the John Does was later identified in legal papers as Kenyatti Adams, who moved in with Jurman in April 2021, “strong arming” his way into the property, legal papers allege.

“Adams is using the … premises to host illegal poker games, to host sex trafficking and prostitution activities, and to hold illegal afterhours parties. He mainly enters on the weekend and leaves during the weekdays,” court papers allege.

A video posted to the Instagram account of a party promoter showed a poker table inside the apartment, its walls painted black.

A social media post from June said one of the alleged squatters, known as “BigBodyYatti,” would be holding a poker game with a $1,000 minimum to play and the event would feature drinks and “talent.”

A squatter who refuses to leave a Murray Hill townhouse is using the $20,000 a month apartment for illegal poker games, sex trafficking and prostitution, a lawsuit alleges.
A video posted to the Instagram account of a party promoter showed a poker table inside the apartment.

Adams acknowledges in court papers that he plays poker, but denied doing anything illegal and said Jurman moved out of the house when he accused of her planning “improper” activities there.

He continues to live in the townhouse and claimed a COVID-19 hardship, saying he was unable to pay the rent because of the pandemic.

“This is a case of the most egregious abuse of New York’s tenant protection laws being wrongfully used by bad actors to manipulate and take advantage of the system at the expense of the owners,” said Victor Feraru, a lawyer for Spaiser.

Lowell Sidney, a lawyer for Adams, said he had paid rent in the past and denied he was a squatter or conducting illegal activities.

Michael Mueller, a lawyer for Jurman, said she has “always denied having any part in any alleged drug use or prostitution.” A representative for Taub did not immediately return a request for comment.

Additional reporting by Kerry J. Byrne

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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