The Department of Justice initiated the suit after receiving complaints from tenants that the landlord allegedly only provided maintenance for tenants who weren’t of African American descent.
Victims claim they were subjected to continued threats and harassment if they sought repairs to the property; the landlord refused to credit them for repairs they paid for or made themselves; he verbally harassed African-American tenants with racial slurs and epithets, including statements indicating that he disfavored African-American tenants; and, he threatened, harassed and retaliated against African-American tenants who resisted his discriminatory housing practices.
If convicted, the landlord, along with the corporate entities, could face fines, a judgment for damages to the victims, and other administrative orders affecting the ongoing management of the properties.
The Department of Justice has often stated housing discrimination is a top priority, and it will not hesitate to “conduct an extensive investigation” of such claims. The office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District in North Carolina reiterated this commitment to prosecuting cases of discrimination.
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