Man Indicted on 24 Counts for Attempted Hotel Takeover Through Housing Court Loophole

New York City Fraudster’s Alleged Scam Unveiled in Plot Against Historic Landmark


In a stunning revelation, a New York City man, Mickey Barreto, finds himself indicted on 24 counts after allegedly orchestrating a complex scheme to wrest ownership of the iconic New Yorker Hotel from its rightful owners, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. Barreto, 48, pleaded not guilty to 14 felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and 10 counts of criminal contempt in a plot that involved false real estate filings and manipulation of housing court procedures.

According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, the elaborate scheme began when Barreto exploited a housing court loophole to gain residency at the hotel. After booking a room for one night and subsequently demanding a lease under New York’s rent stabilization law, Barreto was ordered by a housing court judge to be allowed to live in the room, despite the hotel’s objections.

Following this initial victory, Barreto allegedly submitted false filings, including a fake deed transfer for the entire hotel, through the city’s automated information system. He then began posing as the new landlord, demanding that the rightful owners vacate the premises and forward him rent payments. Barreto even attempted to register the property under his own name with city agencies and sought franchise ownership from Wyndham, the hotel chain.


However, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity took legal action against Barreto, resulting in a judge stripping his ownership claim and restoring the hotel to its rightful ownership. Despite this setback, Barreto allegedly continued his fraudulent activities, attempting to dissolve the church in California and merging it into his own nonprofit organization, “Mickey Barreto Missions.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg condemned Barreto’s actions, stating, “Barreto repeatedly and fraudulently claimed ownership of one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the New Yorker Hotel.” Prosecutors emphasized their commitment to upholding the integrity of property records and preventing individuals from manipulating the system for personal gain.

Barreto, who was released on his own recognizance, is scheduled to appear in court again on May 1, marking a continued legal battle over his alleged attempts to unlawfully seize control of the historic New Yorker Hotel.