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Sentenced, Finally

For three former big names in the management industry, it was the end of one journey and the beginning of another.

On April 1, 2004, Michael Cantor, 53, the ex-president of Cantor Real Estate, was sentenced to one year at Fort Dix Correctional Facility in New Jersey on charges of enterprise corruption. On April 28, Jeffrey Gold, 52, former executive vice president at Marvin Gold Management, was sentenced to from two to six years at Fort Dix on charges of enterprise corruption. He will be eligible for parole in March 2005. On May 14, Marvin Gold, 71, the former president of Marvin Gold Management, was sentenced to from two to six years at Otisville Correctional Facility in Otisville, N.Y., on charges of enterprise corruption. He will be eligible for parole in May 2005.

Because it was linked to the outcome of a federal investigation of similar charges, the final sentencing was a long time coming. It was on August 4, 2000 when Jeffrey Gold pled guilty. On January 11, 2001, Cantor pled guilty, admitting that from October 1995 to February 1998, he had "received cash kickbacks from contractors who provided goods and services to properties managed by Cantor Real Estate Corporation." Marvin Gold pled guilty, on March 10, 2001, to accepting kickbacks from October 1987 to July 1998. "I had knowledge of this criminal enterprise and the nature of its activities because I managed and directed it." Gold has said he will pay $1 million in restitution.

The sentences are the latest development in a continuing investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office into corrupt practices in the residential real estate business that was first announced on June 15, 1994 when 72 managers pled guilty to kickback schemes, with 34 individuals and three corporations agreeing to pay restitution to a special fund established by the D.A.'s office to reimburse victims. One manager went to jail. In mid- and late June 1999, the D.A. announced more indictments: dozens of managing agents, management companies, building superintendents, architects, engineers, waterproofing contractors, and board members were named. That was the first time that those other than managers or their staffs had been cited in the scandal.

One more big name is still on the waiting list. On September 27, 2000, Arnold Zabinsky former president of the now-defunct Elm Management, admitted his guilt and confessed in state court that contractors "paid those kickbacks in order to secure work . . . At no time did I disclose [this] to the boards or shareholders of those buildings." Zabinsky was scheduled to be sentenced on June 24.

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