One of America’s shadiest landlords is facing possible prison time


John Surico


But according to Joel Kotkin, an erstwhile New Yorker and expert on wealth and housing in America, what Croman is accused of doing is really no surprise. In fact, Kotkin believes, the real estate market—both in metropolises like NYC and those abroad—tacitly endorses this sort of behavior.

The convergence of increasingly limited housing stock, lax regulations, and a seemingly infinite number of buyers—both American and foreign—conjures up a “perfect storm,” according to Kotkin, where people like Croman prosper. “The temptation is enormous,” the expert tells me.