Brooklyn Developer Yuval Golan Accused Of Swindling Vulnerable Homeowners Out Of Valuable Properties

Who is Brooklyn developer Yuval Golan?

Brooklyn leaders have lionized Yuval Golan as the borough’s “savviest” businessman. Yet, black and latino residents consider him the devil. They allege he is a fraudster duping vulnerable New Yorkers out of suddenly valuable properties. 

Golan is the owner of  dozens of pricey homes across Kings County. He has been sued at least five times since 2005.

He has been accused of allegedly taking advantage of sellers.

The 44-year-old Golan often targets vulnerable elderly people. He persuades them to sign contracts without a lawyer. He also offers obscenely low prices for high-priced homes.

Ellen Harris joined her brother in a lawsuit against Golan to keep their Boerum Hill home. She told the NY Daily News:

If you’re vulnerable in any way he’ll attack you on that level. He comes off as very nice but he’s sneaky.

Her brother Anthony Harris sold his half of their childhood home to Golan in 2014 for $700,000. Anthony Harris claims Golan still owes him $400,000 on a property with an estimated value of $3 million.

Anthony Harris told the Daily News:

I truly believe I was taken advantage of.

Golan’s attorney, Garfield Heslop, says Harris signed a “purchase-money mortgage.” 

The Purchase-Money Mortgage allows Golan to pay off the $700,000 over time. 

The Brooklyn Developer Pays $50,000 For A $3.6 Million Home

Anthony and Ellen Harris are not alone. Golan was involved in another particularly jarring case in 2019. The Brooklyn developer bought a Prospect Heights home valued at $3.6 million for a mere $50,000.

Surrogate Judge Margarita Lopez-Torres declared Golan’s deed to the property void. She rejected the Golan’s claim that he obtained the home from a woman who was the sole heir to the Carlton Ave. property.

This opened a pandora’s box. A dozen people now claim in court they are the legitimate heirs to the home.

Lopez-Torres also revoked Golan’s deed to a Crown Heights home in 2018. She returned that property to its prior owner. Golan purchased one-third of the $2 million building from a woman for $10,000.00. The woman’s family say she was terminally ill and addicted to Oxycontin for $10,000.00.

Lopez-Torres in her decision:

An appellate court reversed Lopez-Torres last year. As a result, the court returned the deed to Golan. But the judge has rescinded two other deals made by the businessman.

A judge in another case ruled there was no proof of fraud. However, he did say it was clear that an elderly and sickly woman was taken advantage of. Golan purchased her $450,000 Prospect Lefferts Gardens home for $200,000 less than its value in 2005.

Is Brooklyn Developer Yuval Golan Savvy Or A Crook?

The allegations against Golan have played out against the backdrop of a skyrocketing market. 

A law enforcement source said that the developer’s deals do not rise to the level of criminality because the sellers signed contracts — meaning no matter how bad the deal is, it is legitimate.

Heslop says that the alleged victims of Golan’s fraud are actually just experiencing “seller’s remorse.” They realized after the deal closed they could have sold their homes for more money.

Golan’s portfolio includes a building in Downtown Brooklyn believed to have been a stop on the Underground Railroad. He co-owns the property with his partner Samiel Hanasab, who outraged preservationists after filing papers to demolish the building last year.

Despite all his favorable deals, Golan declared bankruptcy in 2019 amid a divorce from his wife. The trustee on the case alleged he was hiding millions of dollars in real estate that he held under corporations.

But Golan’s lawyer, Heslop, insisted this was just another part of his business acumen.

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