The woes of the New York Press are infamous—staff turnover, low morale, little money. (There's a plus side too—a crazy history, stunts sometimes gone right and also hilariously wrong, and always pluck and gritty determination.) While looking around at the men behind the weekly, we realized we knew nothing about New York Press's Chief Financial Officer, Martin Basroon. He's been at his duties since 2005, at the behest of a friend, Press owner David Unger, and he took that job pretty much right after his release from prison.
Basroon was the president of a company called Plaza Mortgage Inc., which was charged with duping around 200 investors out of more than $12 million. Many of those 200 investors were his friends and relatives, according to reports at the time.
According to court records and published accounts, Basroon told his investors that the money was going towards high-interest loans to poor Atlanta residents, but it was actually used to shore up his mortgage company. He was charged with transporting a fraudulently obtained check, conspiracy, and mail fraud, and sentenced in June 2000. His conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal in 2002.
Press president Peter Polimino responded to questions on behalf of Basroon via email:
Martin Basroon is the CFO of the company and is a valued and highly esteemed employee. He had a legal problem a number of years ago and that problem is behind him.
That legal problem has nothing to do with his position at our company. We and he will have no further comment.
Finally, we noted that Basroon's only appearance in the New York Times is in the Metropolitan Diary, in August of 1999.
The H & H bagel truck was in front of Rhea and Martin Basroon as they drove up to a tollbooth on the New Jersey Turnpike. They were slightly impatient and curious as the truck remained at the booth a little longer than expected. Finally, it moved on, the Basroons moved up for their turn and the reason for the delay was instantly apparent — the tollbooth worker was holding a freshly delivered bag of bagels. Was it a regular delivery? An unexpected gift? They asked but they'll never know — the worker's mouth was full of bagel.