NJ landlord who demanded sex from tenants agrees to pay $4.5M

New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A landlord accused of demanding sex from his low-income tenants has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle a federal lawsuit.

The Department of Justice sued Joseph Centanni in August 2020, accusing him of engaging in “severe or pervasive sexual harassment” over a period of approximately 15 years at buildings he owns in and around the city of Elizabeth.

Centanni will pay approximately $4.4 million to his victims, to be administered through a compensation fund, according to the DOJ.

He also will pay the government a civil penalty of about $107,000 and will be prohibited from owning or managing rental properties.

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