The connections reflect the mayor’s enduring friendship with the brothers, who a decade ago were in violation of federal law and have since been involved in culinary ventures that deprive the government of tax revenue.
Adams has come under criticism for having other ties with people with past offenses — angering LGBTQ people after he hired a former lawmaker with a history of anti-gay positions at a high-paying City Hall gig . His team made a proposal earlier this year that may have helped a longtime friend who had been expelled from the state Senate. and he named a deputy mayor for public safety who was an unknown co-conspirator in a federal corruption case.
Every month, the taxation and finance department of the state releases a list of Top 250 Recent Tax Offenders, In July, Offshtein climbed 23 places from April to number 78.
Offshtein owes $1.3 million in unpaid employee withholding and sales taxes stemming from a Brooklyn restaurant that, at one point, overlapped with the political sphere.
In 2019, a popular Park Slope brunch spot called Woodland became a flashpoint It was very rowdy between the many politicians who complained, and Adams, who Critics are called racists Because the restaurant’s customers were largely black.
Subsequently, Brooklyn attorney Frank Caron—who would go on to become Adams’ chief of staff at City Hall— restaurant represented In a related dispute with the State Liquor Authority.
At the time, the offseason and brunch spot had already earned nearly $400,000 in unpaid state taxes, according to the Finance Department’s July listing (the restaurant also filed for bankruptcy in 2015).
In the years that followed, Offsetin nearly doubled that excellent tab, even as restaurants. closed in 2020, The fresh warrant was issued three months back.
Mayoral spokesman Fabian Levy said Adams was unaware of unpaid taxes, and that he supports all kinds of businesses in the city’s hospitality industry. He said the mayor visits restaurants, bars and music venues around the city to promote the city’s hospitality industry, and these stops do not indicate that he is associated with any particular venue or operator.
According to the state, companies and individuals fall on the state’s list of criminals after paying and ignoring government collectors. Once the payment is missed, interest starts accruing. After all, the state can wage or command business.
On March 2, for example, the tax department arrived at 327 Gold St. in Brooklyn and confiscated Forno Rosso, an upscale, offseason-owned pizzeria that owed more than $400,000 in unpaid taxes, according to a report in city.
Restaurant where Adamso’s participated in a ribbon cutting In 2014, it helped land Offshtine on delinquent taxpayers’ lists, despite receiving more than $550,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program, a federal initiative designed to help small businesses weather the pandemic. Offsetin has cited Kovid as the main reason behind restaurant debt and closure.
In an email to Politico, the Brooklyn attorney said it entered into a payment plan with the state more than a year ago, but is finding it difficult to refund taxes because of the ever-increasing interest.
“Liabilities are not the major issue, they must have been paid long ago,” he wrote. “The problem is interest and penalties.”
The Petroscience brothers can often be seen with the mayor in the city at nightlife spots, including Zero Bond, the pricey members-only club where Adams joins. Held his election night victory party,
He also has close links with two restaurants with outstanding tax debt.
In 2011, the brothers were indicted in 11 federal cases for allegedly participating in a check-cashing scheme involving medical billing companies. In 2014, brothers both confessed the crime Count each one related to the alleged plan for a conspiracy.
According to court records, Robert Petrosyants was convicted of a felony, and sentenced to six months in prison and three years of supervised release. Zan Petrosientes received five years’ probation, records show.
Before sentencing, the family and associates wrote to the judge pleading leniency, and Offshtein described Robert Petrosientes’ central role in the woodland, according to court records.
“Robert oversaw the construction and eventual operation of this business,” Offshtein wrote in the sentencing letter. “He has always been and continues to be – an essential and valuable manager … I trust him to run every aspect of this business. Frankly, I don’t know what I would do without him.”
Zan Petrosciences, Offshtein said, managed the woodland on nights and weekends, and also promoted the restaurant.
In addition, Robert Petrosciences managed Forno Rosso, according to Offsetin, and was listed as a guarantor on the restaurant’s lease.
Several pieces of public information have suggested that the twins also have an ownership stake. This could have been a problem after his 2014 conviction—except for a pardon or a specific type of exemption, the state doesn’t grant liquor licenses to restaurants if an applicant or a business partner has been convicted of a felony.
In 2013, before his sentencing, Robert Petrosientes listed himself as the owner of the woodland, donating $1,000 to the Adam’s borough presidential campaign. for a report In DNAinfo.
But a 2016 lawsuit alleged that Robert and Zan Petrosientes held financial interests in Forno Rosso. The suit accused the brothers and Offshtein of mishandling an investment, and part of the case is still ongoing.
Woodland and Forno Rosso are also among several Brooklyn and Manhattan restaurants claimed to be operated by a company called American Standard Hospitality Group.
According to a removed page from 2018 on the company’s website, American Standard Hospitality Group was described as a Petrosciences Brothers company. A screenshot published by Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report,
“Petrosian’s Journey” [sic] The brothers – Robert and Johnny – are inspirational. They have used the right amount of breakthrough ingredients to craft American Standard Hospitality Group,” Page said, noting Woodland and Forno Rosso were the first two restaurants to be owned and operated by the brothers.
Offshtein has stated publicly, in court documents and in submissions to the Liquor Authority, that he is the sole owner of both the woodland and Forno Rosso. His law firm also appeared on American Standard Hospitality Group’s registration documents when it was formed in 2015, according to state records.
La Bea. connection to
American Standard Hospitality Group, which bills itself as an investment and brand management company, has listed Osteria La Baia among a handful of restaurants that rank among the city’s top Democrats, according to an archived version of its website. Let’s mark another connection.
adams once broken bread Former Democrats in La Bia with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd taken to the cutting while she was collecting string for profile, In March, Adams paid the restaurant $1,000 for a reunion fundraiser, according to campaign finance records.
During dinner and drinks with former Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio in La Baia in February, Politico noticed Zan Petrosientes sitting nearby.
Adams has said that he met the brothers around 2014 and developed a particularly close friendship with Zan Petrosientes, whom he mentored. He mentioned in a press briefing earlier this year that a person’s past should not only define them.
“Yeah, I’m going to talk to people who have stumbled and fallen,” Adams said at the time. “Because I’m completely imperfect, and this is a city made up of perfectly imperfect people.”
According to a liquor license application, La Bia is owned wholly by Shahmuradian, who is also the mother of Robert Petrosientes’ children. Public records show she owns other restaurants claimed by American Standard Hospitality—including a downtown Caribbean eatery managed by Robert Petrosientes—and used an email address associated with the organization in application documents.
In June 2020, Shahmuradyan told the Liquor Authority that he does not share ownership or any business partnership with Offsetin, although the latter still provides him with legal advice and that she works for his companies on occasion. .
“At one time, Mr. Offshtein and I discussed owning a restaurant together, however, I decided I didn’t want to partner with Mr. Offshtein or anyone else for that matter,” she wrote.
Shahmuradyan did not respond to a request for comment. Zhan Petrosyants referred to POLITICO as Ofshtein. And questions addressed to Robert Petrosciences were not answered, which were sent to both Shahmuradyan and Offshteyn.
Shahmuradyan also wrote that he had no official business relationship with any of the Petrosciences brothers. For a liquor authority, this would be an important detail, as the state considers an applicant’s spouse’s felony history when granting a license.
Robert Petrosciences and Shahmuradian have sometimes given government officials conflicting descriptions of the state of their domestic life.
In the application documents filed with the Liquor Authority on October 1, 2019, Shahmuradyan claimed to be unmarried. But later that month, Robert Petrosientes filed an unrelated document with the state’s Supreme Court certifying that she was his spouse.
Eight months after that, Shahmuradyan wrote in an affidavit that, although she lives with Robert Petrosientes and has three children together, they are not married.
Julian Shen-Bero contributed to this report.