Former flophouse owner gets jail time for pushing out tenants in Medicaid scheme
A former owner of Brooklyn three-quarter houses was sentenced to 2 1/2 to five years in prison on Wednesday for wrongfully evicting residents and pushing them into unnecessary drug programs for Medicaid kickbacks.
Slapped with three indictments between the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the state Attorney General’s Office, Yury Baumblit stood silent in prison sweats for his Brooklyn Supreme Court sentencing.
The 67-year-old pleaded guilty with his wife on Feb. 14 to wrongfully evicting at least 10 tenants from rooms of the houses, known as transitional or sober houses. They also copped to directing residents to unnecessary drug-abuse programs in exchange for Medicaid kickbacks.
Before they were busted in 2016, the couple scammed over $1.5 million in the scheme that dated back to 2010, according to court documents.
In evicting the tenants without a court order, Baumblit would put residents’ belongings on the street, remove their mattresses, break stoves to prevent them from cooking and lock the doors to their rooms.
“This defendant preyed on vulnerable people who desperately needed a home,” District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “He did that to line his own pockets and deserves to be in prison for his fraudulent and cruel actions.”
In a specific instance, one tenant at the residence was evicted after six months in the home when Baumblit took his personal items and put another tenant in the space, according to a DA statement. Baumblit then refused to return the bed after the victim sued, leading him to sleep on the floor for more than four months.
Baumblit told another resident, who had surgery in 2015, that he couldn’t stay home during the day. The victim then collapsed in the street and was sent to the hospital for five days.
Rimma Baumblit, the schemer’s wife, will be sentenced for third-degree grand larceny on May 18.
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