By Alex Robinson
A Huang family company that racked up city Department of Buildings violations in December for allegedly cutting down trees on a protected property in Fresh Meadows has not been a registered business since 2009, according to Department of State records.
Audrey Realty Corp., headed by Henry Huang, son of notorious developer Thomas Huang, was dissolved in 2009 because it did not pay its taxes, DOS spokesman Laz Benitez said.
“The entity in question was dissolved by proclamation as they failed to pay taxes and are no longer registered with the Department of State, thus they cannot operate as a business entity,” Benitez said.
Audrey Realty is listed as the owner of the historic Fresh Meadows Klein Farm, at 194-15 73rd Ave., on the property’s deed.
The company caused an uproar among Fresh Meadows residents in December when it was issued DOB violations for unapproved work on the property’s driveway and for removing trees from the farm.
The property is in the Fresh Meadows Special Planned Community Preservation District, meaning any changes to the property require approval from the City Planning Commission.
Audrey Realty is due to appear in court Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 for the violations at the Queens Business Center in Jamaica, at 144-06 94th Ave.
An Environmental Control Board judge will rule on the violations and the company could face up to a total of $20,000 in fines, according to ECB.
If Audrey Realty fails to attend the hearings, it could be found in violation and given a penalty five times higher than the standard amount imposed, said DOB spokeswoman Kelly Magee.
“If the property owner fails to correct the violations and pay the associated fines, then the violation remains open and increased penalties may be assessed,” she said.
Henry Huang did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Benitez said a corporation that has been dissolved is still allowed to own property while it is going through a “winding up” phase, which could take years.
“A corporation that has been dissolved still exists, but should limit its activities to those that are incidental to winding up its affairs,” Benitez said. “The winding up process includes collecting obligations owed to the corporation, paying obligations owned by the corporation and distributing its remaining assets.”
During the winding process, which does not have a specified time limit, dissolved corporations also have many of the powers of a corporation that has not been dissolved, including the power to sue and be sued, Benitez said.
In June 2013, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman banned Huang along with his mother Alice and father Thomas, from selling real estate securities.
Huang received a lifetime ban from selling condos and co-ops for filing false documents that hid the fact his parents had committed felony securities fraud in the development and sale of condos at the Broadway Tower in Elmhurst, according to Schneiderman’s office. Huang’s parents had already been banned from developing and selling real estate in 1999 for failing to pay operating costs for buildings they owned and rented out.
This lifetime ban, however, does not bar Huang from owning property or charging rent to tenants, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman’s office said.
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.