Since the summer of 2008 we have been tracking the progress of a court case of two Texas based companies: “Gerritsen Beach Investments Ltd” and “Riviera Investments I Ltd” vs Stephen Jemal. You may know Stephen Jemal and his company SSJ Development,LLC – they own the vacant Lacon Court and Knapp Street properties, and plan to develop into luxury condos. Apparently, these Texas companies were investors that SSJ Development courted to invest in his development of vacant land in our area.
If you remember way back in July of 2008, we broke the original story that Lacon Ct and Knapp street developer Stephen S. Jemal got into a $5.5 million dollar contract dispute with his investment companies. That story ballooned into a major story when Jemal sent a letter threatening to sue GerritsenBeach.net, then the website came under a denial of service attack, which I was able to prove came from an associate of Jemals, and there was a Daily News story covering it.
Anyways, after a few years in Federal court, a judgment has finally been rendered.
The Texas-based companies which were the originally investment companies for Jemal’s properties here in Gerritsen Beach won 7.8 million dollars plus interest, for a loan that Jemal failed to repay.
Jemal also lost a second case to a bank in Philadelphia. The bank loaned Jemal 11.1 million dollars for properties in Cape May County, NJ. According to the complaint, Jemal also failed to pay back this loan. This is currently being contested, but according to the complaint, the Jemals personally guaranteed these loans through a confession of judgment.
As for the fate of the properties in our area, we have not been able to ascertain what is going to happen. Speculation includes that they may be sold off to the highest bidder, given to the investment companies, or even Jemal might get to keep them if he shuffles them around.
In an interesting twist, it seems as though Jemal does not have the ownership he thought he had on Lacon Court. According to the last property owners meeting, the New York State DEC tried to fine Jemal for failure to clean up his docks but couldn’t because he was not listed as the owner. Calls to DEC and Alan Maisel were not returned.