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Von ‘Fraudster’ claimed relation to fashion designer to rent SoHo penthouse: suit

Manhattan scammer 'Corey von Furstenberg' (right) pretended to be the son of designer Diane von Furstenberg (left).
Getty Images (left), Facebook

Julia Marsh

Jan 14, 2016

A Manhattan fraudster took the last name ‘von Furstenberg’ to pose as a wealthy scion of the famous designer Diane von Furstenberg — and scammed the owner of a six-story SoHo apartment building into renting him the $15,000-a-month penthouse, according to a new lawsuit.

The landlord, 496 Broadway LLC, discovered “Corey von Furstenberg” is a fake when he started falling behind on rent several months ago, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court suit that seeks to evict the alleged scammer and collect $100,000 in back rent.

Von Furstenberg told the owner of 496 Broadway, Thor Equities, that he makes over $1 million a year as head of the PR firm Von Furstenberg Creative Group that supposedly reps Hillary Clinton, Mariah Carey and Paula Deen.

He also claimed to pull in $4 million a year from a trust fund.

A related suit filed in New Jersey federal court against the renter’s attorney says the deadbeat “adopted the surname ‘von Furstenberg’ for the purpose of falsely suggesting that he was related to Diane von Furstenberg, the world-famous fashion designer, former princess, and wife of billionaire Barry Diller.”

The Manhattan case says “there is no such relationship.’”

The swindler even got licensed, New Jersey-based attorney Edward G. D’Alessandro Jr. to verify that his client’s “personal and trust portfolio” was worth “well in excess of $100 million,” according to court papers.

D’Alessandro, who did not immediately return calls, also told the landlord’s real estate broker that he couldn’t provide his client’s Social Security number “for privacy reasons,” according to court papers.

The alleged swindler’s “earned income is not enough to even cover his rent,” the landlord’s lawyer Joseph Lee Matalon says in court papers.

“Mr. ‘von Furstenberg,’ aided by his licensed attorney Edward G. Allesandro, Jr., signed a lease for the luxury penthouse at 496 Broadway under false pretenses,” Matalon said in a statement.

“After the tenant fell substantially behind in the rent, my client learned that it had been duped and unfortunately had no choice but to bring actions to rescind the lease and recover damages resulting from fraudulent representations made by Mr. D’Alessandro and his client.”

The lease for the $15,000-a-month pad runs through October.

The 38-year-old’s business website claims he attended Brown University, although a university spokesman said he’s not a registered alumnus.

The site has all the hallmarks of a “bullshitter,” according to one bona fide Manhattan PR rep, who noted that Von Furstenberg claims to have done crisis management for Paula Deen even though Deen makes all her employees sign strict non-disclosure agreements.

Reached through the intercom at his building, Von Furstenberg said, “I know there’s a lot of illegal activity going on on the part of the building.” He declined to elaborate.

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