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A Manhattan co-op board allegedly turned down a wealthy African man even though he paid for his apartment outright in cash, handed over more than a year’s maintenance fees in advance and went through the “bizarre” hoop of having British documents translated — into English.
Goldwyn Thandrayen, 25, claims he agreed to every demand by the board of 210 E. 36th St., where he signed a contract for a studio apartment this spring. He transferred the entire sale price to a U.S. account, added another $30,000 as a guarantee on top of that and put $15,000 for yearly maintenance fees in escrow.
Yet the board didn’t even interview him before rejecting him earlier this month without an explanation.
"It's pretty bad," said the Berkeley College business student. "From the very start I knew (the board’s behavior) was weird, (but) I really wanted the apartment and I did everything they asked.”
Co-op boards operate with broad discretion and are notoriously ornery in their selection process. In the past, boards turned down pregnant women, a buyer whose dog was named Scooby Don’t, and even a paper company executive who demanded the right to use his favorite toilet paper brand.
But Thandrayen’s lawyer, Marc Fitapelli, said this board went further, discriminating against his client’s national origin.
One email from a board member, for example, sniffed that Thandrayen’s "entire financial portfolio is in some tiny little unknown country."
The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the coast of Africa with some 1.3 million people. Thandrayen said he has a refrigerator business there and global real estate investments that were used to pay for the purchase.
After putting a $39,000 deposit and producing the rest of the $400,000 sale price, he was faced with additional requirements, according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
The board asked for "professional translation" of documents that were in English, a request "not only bizarre, but one of a series of examples of overly discriminatory roadblocks," charged the complaint.
Thandrayen was assured he would be approved after adding money to the account and the escrow, but he was turned down anyway.
Transferring all the funds back to Mauritius is now a problem, Thandrayen said, because it's likely to be flagged for money laundering, plus he's out thousands of dollars in interest and other costs.
Worse, said Fitapelli, "He's basically blacklisted now from buying a co-op in New York City "because boards tend to not even consider anyone who has been previously rejected.
That’s why he’s suing for damages in excess of $1 million.
"The smart thing to do was interview him and at least come up with some reason to reject him," he added.
The management agent who has communicated with Thandrayen declined to comment.
How would other co-ops have known he had been rejected before, but for the fact that the buyer sued and made it all public?
Hey, Matt, is there a Stasi database of applicants co-ops collude and subscribe to?
First of all, as a co-op board president, I also would be leery of an applicant whose assets are (a) outside of the United States, and (b) in a country I've never heard of.
Second, red flag: if he's so "wealthy", why is he a student at BERKELEY COLLEGE? Seriously?
Third: cash is not always king, especially in co-ops. When will people finally learn this?
I'm with NYCMatt especially on his point about Berkeley College. Furthermore, the fact that bringing money back to his country would raise questions about money laundering means things aren't so Kosher to begin with. Also, the translation to American English does seem necessary, who says, "Good Day, I am Barrister Soandso" when you can just say, "give me your money, punk."
Yee-hah! Here we go again. Sounds like another unattributed Daily News story.
Now, having gone to court, he'll never be able to buy a co-op. A landlord would be deterred, too.
Let's see: Unemployed, student at a for-profit school, just enough cash to pay for the place and cover a year's maintenance. No way. It'll have to be a condo for him.
Think of the co-op as a business, requiring periodic infusions of cash, looking for partners.
I know lots of foreign nationals who've bought in co-ops, but they're established and connected here.
I'm reluctant to agree with Matthew on matters of shareholder vetting, but this guy sounds on the surface like a composite sketch of more than half the things many coops seek to avoid -- none of them discriminatory. His broker seems to have done a very bad job in counseling him and finding a right-fit housing product, from the scant evidence we can see.
Putting aside the offensive and unnecessary Board request to "translate" the biz documents (although clearly it was legal interpretation rather than language translation that they were interested in), we have someone who's moving to a party-problem neighborhood who is
a) not likely to make it his primary residence for the long-term.
b) therefore a risk of houseguests in his absence
c) at a less-than-serious university ... mitigating factor being that stenography students aren't known to be 24-hour party people
d) probably unstable income
e) please tell me this is a different instance of the common name "Goldwyn Thandrayen": https://www.google.com/search?q=Goldwyn+Thandrayen&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=SFWJUJi6Jung0gHU0oCIDA&ved=0CDIQsAQ&biw=1360&bih=681
Whatever the case may be - he ain't missing much. The block it sits on is a noisy, exhaust fume filled traffic nightmare. As an added bonus, the post office annex that sits directly across the street contributes with its trucks constantly coming & going, with the rollup doors screeching & banging up & down - even at night. Oh yes; very desirable indeed.
Perhaps the board did this in an effort to project an [exhaust filled] air of exclusivity, in and of itself a joke.
a) outside of the United States - If the coop has no specific rule against buyers from a foriegn country in the first place, then this is not an excuse.
b) in a country I've never heard of - This is your duty to find out. The applicant pay to apply. Your job and responsibility to verify. Not an excuse again.
Also, the guy didn't claim he was "so wealthy". He believed he was good enough and was qualified to buy a sub $500K apartment. He doesn't need to be "so wealthy". For your info, a lot of people with business went back to study business to enrich themselves. Ever heard of EMBA? As wealthy as Prince William, they went to school too. Never heard of that?
LOL alanhart, it's him. The Daily News photo matches the "It's all about sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll" photo.
Never heard of Mauritius Matt? Seriously? :-b
I agree that boards are (rightfully) nervous about applicants with overseas assets. And they may also have been concerned this would be a pied-a-terre situation.
>>Thandrayen was assured he would be approved after adding money to the account and the escrow, but he was turned down anyway.<<
What board ever 'assures' approval? This sounds fishy.
This is really a hoot. Check out his "Psychocide" movie. All the board had to do was google him.
Unbelievable just how shortsighted the board is.
If anything, he'd be a valuable asset to the building - taking down annual meeting minutes in shorthand...what more can they ask for?!?
Pretty typical for a board to dislike a student with no job to pay the maintenance with -- they could have pretty cleanly turned him down on the basis of that profile, even if he was an all-cash buyer.
However, asking for escrow -- and then turning the applicant down without an interview -- is unusual behavior for a board. Be interesting to see how this turns out.
DG Neary Realty
bramstar, I suspect the source of the approval "assurance" was one or both brokers, and they didn't represent it as the word of the Board/management. Psycho probably assumed so, though.
Ali, in a similar vein, do you think it's possible that all the escrow, etc., was at his broker's request, or at the candidate's own suggestion, in either case prior to initial package submission? I do, but what do I know?
It's a scam.
Need cash? Sue a co-op. Maybe they'll settle.
Need publicity? Call the Daily News.
my nose says goldie is leaden
this one will be fun to follow as with buddy fletcher, alison's very close friend, and fellow harvard alum.
If I put money in escrow, do I have the unalienable court-actionable right to join Psychocide?
Just knowing that somewhere in the swampy universe, there's the almighty NYCMatt, PRESIDENT of a CO-OP for life... I've been a lifetime co-op(s) owner and never had any serious difficulties. But just one creepy creature like NYCMatt can understandably stink up the whole idea. Never heard of a country, huh? That means the country does not exist.
What is your point, Dollar, rejecting a sketchy foreigner with no income and a questionable source of assets that can't be repatriated is outside of the bounds of co-op discretion?
I can't believe most average intelligent people have never heard of Mauritius.
At the very least,have it come up on a game of names of countries hangman on Jetblue.
Maybe Dodo birds aren't extinct after all. (that's for extra credit :) )
Judging by his Twitter posts (@goldwynex) he'll do anything for publicity.
The case isn't up on eCourts yet, so the Daily News had to have gotten the story straight from him or his lawyer. Then didn't bother to google the yutz.
"Never heard of a country, huh? That means the country does not exist."
I never said it didn't exist.
My point is that as the head of a corporation looking for a shareholder to buy into it, I'm not comfortable with that shareholder's assets *not* on U.S. soil (or even European soil, for that matter).
And no, believe it or not, MOST intelligent people really have never heard of Mauritius. It's true.
OMG...I just saw his pics...man, is he HOT!!! Never heard of him until today - but boy am I glad I did! He'd be a hot addition to ANY building!
What the *%#* is wrong with that @#$%& board?!? APPROVE HIM ALREADY!!!
YOU approve him.
If I wanted a hot man in the building, I'd call out for one.
"Hot" does nothing for the building's bottom line.
The t-shirt with the beaver-shooting-woman logo is a nice touch.
"MOST intelligent people really have never heard of Mauritius. It's true."
No, it's not true. Because most intelligent people do research to plan their vacations, and invariably the beautiful beaches (among other things) of Mauritius come up.
You know you've considered a vacation in Mauritius at some point. Or Seychelles. Or both.
I prefer the beaches of Cape Cod and Maine.
"I prefer the beaches of Cape Cod and Maine."
is this because you are so far uptown you are practically there?
I most certainly DO approve him - because "hot" most definitely does something...for MY bottom! (sans line). MmmmmMMMMM!!!!! He be ma Gold Winner!!!
What is the latest with Buffy Fletcher?
Really? He looks like a total scuzz.
Well, like they say: One person's scuz, could be another one's huz...
I prefer the windowless and doorless
buildings of afghanistan
do you think he'll make the next reunion, allison?
It's clear that they Googled the guy before turning him down. This just shows how people have to get better at managing the information and particularly photos of themselves that reach the internet. Once it's on Google, it's your "permanent record".
With those photos out in the wild, I wonder what kind of personality he presented to the board. Thandrayen shouldn't just "say" he has a refrigerator business. At 25, he's pretty unusual -- if I were him I'd be producing detailed records of that business and the money he made from it. I wonder if he did this, or if he just showed up with the cash.
Ah yes...Fletcher...aka Buffy the Co-op Board Slayer (or at least he wishes!)
Oren Yaniv at the Daily News must be embarrassed. He just took what Fitapelli and Thandrayen said, without checking further. Maybe that's why he left the NYT.
Then Curbed, The Real Deal, etc., picked it up and didn't check either. Could've been a great story.
KYC...AML....If your money isnt coming from domestic regulated institution its subject to question. period.
Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher!
Rosemary's Baby Fame!
Ellen Pao (Buddy's Wife aka: the beard): What have you done to him? What have you done to his eyes, you maniacs!
Roman Castevet(aka Hobart Fowlkes Jr aka: Buddy's salami smuggling buddy) : He has his father's eyes.
Ellen Pao: What do you mean? Buddy's eyes are normal!
Good times at the Dakota...good times.
Republic of Mauritius
This is where living in a coop pays off. Your neighbors, who you elect to the coop board, are charged with conducting the business of the coop for the share holders. This one looks like a no brainer.
Republic of Seeyoulater
Coops are private real estate clubs, some times the plan works.
And just think: In a few days, you may actually see Maurice Evans on CPW, trying to keep his balance in the rising wind, while holding a barometer & yelling, "TYPHOON! TYPHOON!"
Or dressed up in his Planet of the Apes outfit being rejected by the Dakota board for being........simian.
Ultra LOL!! Now THAT was a good one! Talk about being BLACKlisted! Next thing you know, there'd be a Million Simian March...
This is an example of trash who doesn't like the rules and then wants to be rewarded by our legal system for being a jerk.
Eumendides, you a bit a rude, aren't you? do you know the facts ?
"Yet the board didn’t even interview him before rejecting him earlier this month without an explanation."
Are there examples of boards that outright refuse to even receive certain applications? I'm talking about before even determining a rejection for an interview.
Strangely, Thandrayen never actually filed suit against the co-op. Maybe the Daily News story was just a threat, or his lawyer thought better of it, or it was just for publicity.
That co-op missed out on a fun neighbor. The meth look would liven things up.
Here's his latest tweet, from 5:00 in the morning:
"ANYONE IN NYC WANNA PARTY BIG TIME?? I KNOW ITS EARLY BUT LETS DO IT"
Greensdale, sure. The easiest example is that there are boards that categorically ask that brokers not bring them applications from purchasers who don't have assets in the U.S. Though I'm not a lawyer, as I understand it, a rule like that is okay as long as it's applied across the board.
I STILL think he's hot though...
"Really? He looks like a total scuzz."
When you get right down to it, this is the basis for approval in a coop, pretty much.
Of course, Bernie Madoff looked great on paper!
>Of course, Bernie Madoff looked great on paper!
Bernie and his family didn't play their music too loud, or fail to pay common charges.
Madoff looked good on paper; Thandrayen looks good on meth!
fun comments at Curbed: http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/10/25/murray_hill_coop_hit_with_1_million_discrimination_suit.php#reader_comments
The case has finally been recorded in Brooklyn: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/DocumentDisplayServlet?documentId=gzS7BCVYAsVrwKHI4XvUqQ==&system=prod
He now lives at http://streeteasy.com/nyc/building/15-goodwin-place-brooklyn. 210E36th is no great shakes, but it'd be quite a step up. Hardly any garbage on the sidewalks.
NWT, your investigative skills never cease to amaze me. May I ask what you do for a living?
>The case has finally been recorded in Brooklyn:
Goldwyn has depression, stress, and anxiety, and he has been humiliated and embarassed. That plus he was forced to move his money from a high yielding savings account into a U.S. bank paying low interest rates.
Now the COOP is going to bring him in for another interview and ask him if TUPAC or Jim Morrison will be visiting him.
mibnyc, if you swear you won't host any party after 10 PM, and will not play any noises if any neibors don't enjoy it, and have it written and nortarized, bring it to the interview, i guarantee you can get into almost all buildings you like
Among the exhibits filed the other day is this affidavit from one of the board members: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/DocumentDisplayServlet?documentId=siG6NMYi9bkpw1a3wnmhiw==&system=prod
The others are interesting, too, so make use of eCourts.
Oddest is the one where Thandrayen's lawyer Fitapelli gets confused over his client's surname.
I.e., he thought it was Siegfried. Searching on Goldwyn Siegfried turns up this little gem: http://www.modelmayhem.com/2481458
grody to the max
2 minutes ago
Member since: Sep 2008
ignore this person
The bill as proposed would still let you reject for no stated reason. Tattoos, shell necklaces, and woman-degrading clothing aren't protected. The board members would just have to sign something saying they didn't reject because applicant was in some protected class. There's a competing bill by some other councilperson that'd make you say why, I think.
The co-op's discovery demands include the agreement between Goldwyn and his lawyer. There's a suggestion that they suspect a shake-down scheme. I.e., find a co-op that's never rejected anyone and doesn't know how, will bend over backwards but still have no choice but to reject, and ka-ching. I don't think so, as the lawyer could certainly have found somebody without Goldwyn's web presence.
Don't know how I missed it before, but here is the final version of Goldwyn's package: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/fbem/DocumentDisplayServlet?documentId=j/oDYTjJDsq2u_PLUS__PLUS_ybEDd2Q==&system=prod
It's down past the legal boilerplate.
$350,000 worth of personal property and furniture? (*raises eyebrow*)
What was his source of income?
His father's air-conditioning company in Mauritius, which seems to be legitimate.
I don't understand that package and the co-op that'd accept it. They didn't even google-map his apartment at 15 Goodwin Place in Brooklyn, or his reference's at 63 Farringdon Rd in London.
Ali, if you ever need an easy-in co-op for a client, that one's it.
>His father's air-conditioning company in Mauritius
Does he work there part time?
Bushwick place is highly sketchy looking, but what are you saying about the one in Clerkenwell? That's a snazzy enough locale, and I don't know, but likely to have tony lofts in upper floors. No?.
It looked desolate. Handy to Papa John's pizza, though.
Maybe Goldwyn is an old-fashioned remittance man, as in a 19th-century novel, paid by the family to stay away in some other country and not embarrass them.
>paid by the family
Is that good in the minds of a co-op? MIBNYC, what do you think?
this is a monster.
mibnyc <> c0c0
MIB, what was your issue here: http://streeteasy.com/nyc/talk/discussion/34992-f-coop-boards when you linked to this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/realestate/co-op-board-presidents-tell-all.html