D.A. Bragg: Man Indicted For Claiming Ownership Of Iconic “New Yorker Hotel” In False Property Records

February 14, 2024

Mickey Barreto Allegedly Registered the Hotel in His Name, Demanded Rent from Tenants, Attempted to Evict Previous Owner from Premises While Making Series of Fraudulent Filings

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. today announced the indictment of MICKEY BARRETO, 48, for filing false real property records claiming ownership of the New Yorker Hotel between May 2019 and September 2023, purporting to secure ownership of the hotel from a religious organization. BARRETO is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with 14 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and 10 counts of Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree. [1]

“As alleged, Mickey Barreto repeatedly and fraudulently claimed ownership of one of the City’s most iconic landmarks, the New Yorker Hotel,” said District Attorney Bragg. “We will not tolerate manipulation of our city’s property records by those who seek to scam the system for personal gain.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, in June 2018, BARRETO booked a room at the New Yorker Hotel for one night. The next day, BARRETO requested that the hotel enter into a lease agreement with him for the room pursuant to New York’s rent stabilization law. When the hotel refused, BARRETO left his belongings inside the room and left. The hotel then removed his belongings, returned them to BARRETO, and asked him to leave. Soon afterward, BARRETO filed a lawsuit in housing court claiming he was wrongfully evicted from the hotel. The housing court judge issued an order granting Barreto possession of a particular room at the hotel.

In May 2019, BARRETO uploaded fake real property documents onto the New York City Department of Finance’s Automated City Register Information System (“ACRIS”), including a fraudulent deed purporting to transfer ownership of the entire New Yorker Hotel from a religious organization, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (“HSA”), to himself. BARRETO then began holding himself out as the owner of the hotel, including demanding rent from one of the hotel’s tenants, registering the hotel under his name with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for water and sewage payments, and demanding the hotel’s bank transfer its accounts to him. He instructed HSA to vacate the hotel and demanded they begin sending any tenant’s rent payments to him. BARRETO also contacted the hotel’s franchisor, Wyndham, and began talks to have the franchise transferred to him.

The real hotel owner filed a lawsuit against Barreto in New York County Supreme Court and successfully obtained an order forbidding BARRETO from making further false filings or holding himself out to be the hotel owner. BARRETO unsuccessfully appealed the decision and continued to represent that he owned the building.

In April and September 2023, Barreto filed additional false documents onto ACRIS in violation of the Court’s order, including another fraudulent deed purporting to transfer ownership of the hotel to himself.

Assistant D.A. Shrey Sharma is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Christine Payne (Deputy Bureau Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau) and Assistant D.A. Jodie Kane (Chief of the Rackets Bureau and Acting Chief of the Investigation Division). Sgt. Daniel Clark-El and Paralegals Nicole Toney and Jolie Rolnick provided valuable assistance in the investigation.

Defendant Information:


New York, New York


  • Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E Felony, 14 counts
  • Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, a class A Misdemeanor, 10 counts


[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.