Attorneys for East Hampton Town are offering plea bargains to a Manhattan woman and the owner of a Montauk home she rented to settle charges relating to her allegedly renting out rooms and other areas of the property to more than a dozen people.
Alina Gersham, the tenant on the lease, and Thomas Mahl, the owner of the single-family home on Beech Hollow Court, were charged last month with dozens of code violations after officials executed a search warrant on Sept. 3. Gersham allegedly rented the property to 17 people for as much as $1,800 per weekend.
Both pleaded not guilty at their Sept. 26 arraignment before East Hampton Town Justice Court Judge Lisa Rana, who set a $5,000 bail for Gersham.
Gersham and Mahl, a former Wall Street commodities broker, were both scheduled to appear in court Monday, but a postponement until Dec. 12 was granted for Mahl after his attorney, Deborah Choron, of East Hampton, told the court of her intention to file a discovery demand that would require the prosecution reveal its evidence in the case.
Rana also ordered Gersham to return to court on Dec. 12 and for Mahl’s discovery demand to be submitted by Nov. 4.
“We appreciate the people’s offer,” Choron said of the prosecution’s plea bargain. She later declined outside court to comment on details of the plea offer.
Gersham’s attorney, Edward D. Burke Jr. of Sag Harbor, said after leaving the proceedings that an offer from prosecutors is on the table. “It’s still something in the works; we’re still in negotiaitons,” he said.
Mahl, a longtime Montauk resident, said after the proceedings that he leased the property to “one person” only and “now they say there are all of these violations.”
East Hampton Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski said that at the time of the raid, the house had a certificate of occupancy for only three bedrooms, but that the basement and pool house had been illegally converted to provide a total of nine bedrooms.