Local property owner charged with failure to let tenants know of lead paint

Published Dec. 13, 2013

A St. Petersburg property owner has been indicted on charges that he failed to let tenants know of the dangers of lead paint in their apartments, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa announced Thursday.

Michael Moshe Shimshoni, 56, of Tierra Verde is being charged with four counts of failing to provide approved Environmental Protection Agency lead paint warning notices and brochures to his tenants, and two counts of alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Shimshoni fell under federal eye after investigators found lead in the paint and soil at 1075 17th Ave. N, a neighborhood west of Crescent Lake, during a renovation in 2011

Shimshoni owns the property under his management corporations. According to federal EPA guidelines the landlord is responsible to make tenants aware of the possible dangers associated with lead paint prior to leasing.

An indictment also states that when the EPA began investigating Shimshoni, he backdated disclosure forms in order to impede the investigation.

If convicted, Shimshoni could serve a maximum of one year in prison for each count of failing to provide a warning notice, and 20 years for each count of falsification of records.

Shimshoni is well-known to St. Petersburg officials because of nuisance issues that have resulted in thousands of dollars in fines for properties he owns.