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NYC families fight eviction after losing $4 million to developer

A group of 20 Asian immigrant families are breathing a sigh of relief in their fight against eviction from their New York condos, New York Post reports. 

The Brooklyn building was slated to be foreclosed and auctioned off Thursday, according to the New York Post. The residents allege that real estate developer Hi Hui “Steven” Wu defrauded up to $4 million from the families, who were aiming to obtain ownership for their units. 

“The victims see a light for the first time at the end of a very long tunnel,” Edward Cuccia, the families’ attorney, said according to the Post. 

Residents of the condos include elderly Asian Americans, another New York Post article reports. Chin How ‘Rei’ Tan paid nearly $200,000 for his parents to retire in their current unit, only to have Wu disappear with the money. 

“It’s definitely devastating for us,” Tan said,  “[They] were supposed to be here hopefully for another 30 years.”

According to Documented, Wu had been collecting payments from the families since 2012, claiming to have secured the rights to sell and ownership titles. 

“The victims trusted Wu because he had lived in the neighborhood for years,” Documented reports. “They paid Wu deposit money, ranging from $100,000 to over $460,000 in cash or by checks.” 

The temporary stay was only made possible through community organizing and media attention, the Post reports. The building’s lender eventually agreed to a compromise. 

“As of now the stay is temporary but the families are hopeful that a resolution can be reached so that the families can avoid eviction and the total loss of their life savings,” Cuccia said, the Post reports.

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