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Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

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Latest post Tue, Jun 6 2017 4:50 PM by ca19lawyer2. 6 replies.
  • Mon, Jun 5 2017 8:01 PM

    • alina1
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Aug 11 2008
    • NY
    • Posts 7

    Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

    I am a COOP shareholder. We didn't have shareholders meeting for 15 year. President abuses financial power. Recently he took 1.2 mil loan on our building as we found online. He is a president of another about 15 COOPs and he seems stealing from all of them. From another COOP he took about 6 mil, which he used to pay to his wife liquor store, etc. We can't get a majority of shareholders to fight him. Attorney General didn't answer. How can we fight him? Can any lawyer be interested in class action suit?

  • Tue, Jun 6 2017 6:41 AM In reply to

    Re: Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

    alina1:
    Can any lawyer be interested in class action suit?

    You can look up class action lawyers and call around but I doubt that it's going to happen.

    Resign yourself to the fact that you (and other concerned shareholders) will have to pay for the services of an attorney.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Tue, Jun 6 2017 9:40 AM In reply to

    Re: Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

    alina1:
    We didn't have shareholders meeting for 15 year.

    Have you been a shareholder during that entire time?  If so, what efforts did you make to have a meeting held?

     

    alina1:
    President abuses financial power. Recently he took 1.2 mil loan on our building as we found online.

    HE took out the loan?  Or he caused the COOP board to take out the loan?  If the latter, so what?

     

    alina1:
    We can't get a majority of shareholders to fight him.

    That suggests that this guy's conduct isn't nearly as egregious as you suggest.

     

    alina1:
    How can we fight him?

    Vote him out of office and/or sue.

     

    alina1:
    Can any lawyer be interested in class action suit?

    As phrased, the answer to this question is yes, but I'm curious why you would ask this.  Do you have any understanding what a class action is?  Why do you think the situation you described would be suitable for a class action, and what benefit do you think you or any of the other shareholders would gain from a class action that you couldn't get from a normal lawsuit?

  • Tue, Jun 6 2017 11:29 AM In reply to

    • alina1
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Aug 11 2008
    • NY
    • Posts 7

    Re: Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

    Dear ca19lawyer2, thanks for answering.

    We live in the building for 6 years. We got 7 other owners on our side - although from the biggest apartments.  Out of 52 apartments. Most of owners are renting out and are afraid that sublet fees go up. Others are afraid of the president. He will not allow to sell the apartment if you fight him. The other building has testimony of a person who was forced to sell his apartment to the president at half price for disobidience.

    What is wrong with taking a loan? All the owners until now where under impression that mortgage should be fully paid off by 2018. President himself told us so, explaining higher mortgage payments in the maintanence. I forget, whether it was on the last shareholder meeting or not. We wasn't in the building yet. Our concern is how he spends this money. Here is a history.

    The president has a restriction court order from one building. Not allowed to come closer than certain distance to the building. The other building just commited the revolution. They got an access to their COOP bank account and I saw personally on their shareholder meeting cash withdrawals and checks written for personal reasons for the huge amounts. Including buying apartment in our cooperative on his name. Now the president, they say, stopped paying maintanence for his 20% apartments and forcing them into bankruptcy. They didn't want us to talk to their lawyer at this moment. Somebody suggested they may consider to sue our corporation.

    I thought of class action because, may be erroneously, that it would be cheaper and easer for us to start. My understanding of expenses and gains from it are very vague and I appreciate an advice.

  • Tue, Jun 6 2017 2:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

    If I were you, I would take the governing docs for the COOP to an attorney for review and advice.  A class action is not a viable option because of what's called the "numerosity" requirement.  What that means is that the number of affected parties is not so numerous that a normal lawsuit would be inordinately cumbersome.  With only 52 owners, that certainly isn't the case.

  • Tue, Jun 6 2017 2:14 PM In reply to

    • alina1
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Mon, Aug 11 2008
    • NY
    • Posts 7

    Re: Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

    I did mention before, the same person is a president in about 15 Coops, it is probably more than 1000 owners. Is it big enough for class action?

     

  • Tue, Jun 6 2017 4:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Fighting a corrupt president of Cooperative.

    alina1:
    I did mention before, the same person is a president in about 15 Coops, it is probably more than 1000 owners. Is it big enough for class action?

    Maybe, but the situation relating to other COOPs is factually dissimilar to your situation, so it would not satisfy the commonality element of the class action rule.

    Moreover, class actions are exceedingly expensive.  They're great tools everyone has been damaged minimally (or not at all) and separate suits wouldn't be cost-effective.  That's why they usually result in settlements whereby class members receive only a few dollars or some coupons and the lawyers receive hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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