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Car plows into real estate mogul Green

The investor and philanthropist was in critical condition in New York. He is less than eight weeks from beginning a federal prison term.

By JEFF TESTERMAN
Published May 10, 2007


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photo
[Times photo: Carrie Pratt]
Steven Green (right) leaves the federal courthouse after being sentenced in February for using a phony Social Security number and failing to file income tax returns from 1999 to 2001. Green was hit by a car while getting into his Rolls Royce Wednesday morning outside a New York nightclub.


TAMPA - Millionaire real estate investor and philanthropist Steven Green was injured in a hit-and-run crash as he was preparing to get into his Rolls Royce outside a New York nightclub Wednesday morning.

Green, 42, was struck by a black Ford Crown Victoria with tinted windows, according to witnesses, and thrown almost 15 feet. Green was hit at 1:37 a.m. after leaving Posh, a bar at 405 W 51st St. in the Hell's Kitchen Section of New York known in the neighborhood as "the gay Cheers."

He was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital and listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon, according to a hospital spokesperson.

"There's not much to go on, " said New York Police Department spokesman Martin Speechley. "He was walking toward his Rolls when he was hit, and now we're looking for a dark-colored sedan."

A movie producer, philanthropist and tireless charity fundraiser, Green is also an investor who built a $200-million apartment empire in Tampa before being hit with record code violations, a $9.04-million foreclosure suit, and federal convictions on fraud and tax charges.

When the hit-and-run occurred, Green was less than eight weeks away from surrendering to begin a federal prison term, and his attorney had in recent days been seeking court approval to change the date and place for his incarceration to begin.

After pleading guilty last year to using a phony Social Security number in his application for a $9.04-million apartment loan and to failing to file income tax returns from 1999 to 2001, when his personal income exceeded $3.1-million, Green was sentenced in February to 33 months in prison.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew granted Green 120 days to arrange his business affairs, putting his surrender date to the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the end of June. Bucklew also fined Green $10, 000, ordered him to pay $4.1-million in restitution and ruled that he must seek treatment for alcoholism while in prison.

At sentencing, Green's attorneys argued that he suffered from a chronic bowel disorder requiring constant treatment by a Libbe machine, a device that provides colonic hydrotherapy.

After hearing that the condition might be "life-threatening, "Bucklew agreed to recommend that Green be incarcerated at federal medical facilities. Bucklew granted Green an additional nine days to report to prison, making the surrender date July 7.

But in papers filed earlier this week, Green's White Plains, N.Y. attorney, Louis E. Cherico said Green no longer needs those specialized facilities because he has received medical treatment revealing his bowel problems can be effectively remedied by medication and a new dietary regime.

Cherico said in the same court papers that Green continues to be plagued by alcoholism that dates to 1981, "drinking one-half bottle of vodka or wine per day." The attorney said "it is of the most urgency" that Green be assigned to a prison facility with an established alcohol treatment program," and asked that Green be sent to the Federal Prison Camp at Morgantown, W. Va.

Cherico visited Green at St. Vincent's shortly after the hit-and-run incident, he said Wednesday, and Green's injuries did not appear to him to be life-threatening. "I've seen him. His condition is good, "said Cherico. "He'll be up and about."

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jeff Testerman can be reached at 813 226-3422 or testerman@sptimes.com.

[Last modified May 10, 2007, 00:05:15]


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