An Israeli businessman Thursday admitted illegally renting hundreds of Manhattan apartments - including some in high-profile upper West Side apartment buildings - as makeshift hotel rooms to tourists.
Fake hotel mogul may check in to a real prison cell
Raziel Ofer, 48, amassed a mini hotel empire by renting the flats and subletting them for up to $1,000 a night to tourists on his woogu.com Web site.
He collected more than $1.4million in sales tax, but never forwarded the cash to the state, and also evaded up to $2 million in other fees.
"Illegal hotels are getting to be a major problem," said Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. "An international entrepreneur can operate a lucrative business without shouldering any of the tax burden."
And they're still in business: WooGo
Why hasn't the city shut these illegal hotels down?