Menicucci Villa Cilmi Adds Criminal Defense With Joseph V. Sorrentino

Veteran criminal defense attorney represents clients in New York and New Jersey state courts, and federal courts across the U.S.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (AUG. 1, 2018) – The law firm of Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC (MVC) has welcomed prominent criminal defense attorney Joseph V. Sorrentino as an “Of Counsel” member to its legal team. 

Practicing in federal courts nationwide and the state courts of New York and New JerseyJoseph Sorrentino is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer and former prosecutor with more than three decades of impressive performance,” said Michael M. Menicucci, MVC founder and managing partner. “His contribution to our legal team offers our clients fresh perspective and convenient access to a top criminal defense attorneyfurther underscoring our firm’s long-standing commitment to excellence. It’s great to welcome Joe on board.”

Sorrentinowho attended St. John’s University and St. John’s University Law School with Menicucci, began his legal career in 1984 as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx and left four years later to pursue his passion of criminal defense.

He has since worked the gamut of criminal cases, defending clients accused of illegal acts such as those involving organized crimemajor drug casesfraud; theft; gambling; racketeering; money launderingalleged violations of the Hobbs Act, a federal extortion statute, and purported breaches of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission laws, to name just a few.

“I’m very pleased to associate myself with Menicucci Villa Cilmi,” Sorrentino said. “MVC’s long-established reputation of integrity, uncompromised due diligence, and success align well with the character and high ethical standards that define my practice.”


Sorrentino’s criminal defense expertise nicely complements Menicucci Villa Cilmi’s years of experience in civil litigation and court proceedings, further addressing the potential needs of clients.

Having served clients for over 30 years, MVC is a New York law firm skilled in the legal details of business; banking and finance, including regulatory-compliance issues; residential and commercial real estate transactions; land use and development; mortgages and foreclosures; all forms of commercial litigation; appeals, and personal injury.

Headquartered on Staten Island, with additional offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC – with Founder and Managing Partner Michael M. Menicucci, Esq., at the helm – is recognized as one of the top law practices of its kind in the NYC metropolitan area. 

The multi-faceted law firm brings considerable knowledge in various legal disciplines to the table when handling litigation, including, but not limited to, matters of: Commercial and residential real estate transactionsbusiness law; banking law; zoning, land use and environmental lawfinance, and many more. 


More specifically, from pre-suit evaluation to trial – and throughout the appellate process – MVC offers expertise in a variety of matters, such as: Commercial transactions, leases, and business disputes; real estate litigation, including claims involving commercial or residential transactions, or partition actions; residential and commercial mortgage foreclosures; foreclosure alternatives; mortgage foreclosure defense and loan modifications; construction litigation, such as contract negotiations, finance, management claims, arbitration, mechanic’s liens, contract or tort claims; land use and zoning litigation, including environmental law, civil enforcement of municipal regulations, administrative litigation of violations, environmental claims, site remediation, and zoning issues; commercial and residential landlord-and-tenant disputes, and lease negotiation; prosecuting and defending personal injury claims, and banking litigation.

MVC may be reached at 718-667-9090; Joseph Sorrentino may be emailed directly at

Pitfalls in failing to structure your investment property in an LLC

Investment Properties

Brendan T Lantry Associate

Brendan T. Lantry, Esq.

In commencing a new development project, novice investors will often question the need to place title to their investment property in a corporate entity such as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), as opposed to owning the property personally. When advised that corporate ownership could avoid personal liability, the question is often asked: “If I have property insurance, won’t that cover all liability?” Here is a brief discussion as to why investors/developers should protect their investment property by placing it in an LLC or other corporate entity:

One major benefit of corporate ownership of investment property is the avoidance of personal liability. From the moment that a deed transfers legal title, the purchaser may be held legally liable for any claim which occurs thereafter with respect to property – even immediately thereafter. A claim, for example,
for negligence or personal injury, can arise at any time – even hours or minutes after property legally changes hand. These claims, if valid, could subject the new property owner to an indeterminate amount of money in damages. Owning the property in a duly formed, proper corporate entity will shield the individual investor/ owner’s assets from liability or seizure resulting from a successful lawsuit, and instead may effectively limit liability to the value of the property, and protect any other separately owned property or assets. Many investors who own several properties will in fact form a new corporate entity for each property they own, so liability on one property cannot extend to other properties, which could occur if the properties were owned by the same entity.

Further, in advance of a purchase of property, an investor should always take steps to ensure that there are no gaps in insurance coverage – in other words, there is no period of time when the seller’s insurance has been terminated, and the investor’s insurance has not yet begun – leaving the property uninsured against loss and liability. Even once insurance is in place, there are typically numerous exclusions in a standard insurance policy, which will not provide coverage for certain events. Some of these exclusions include gross negligence, flood damage, lack of certain kinds of maintenance (e.g., snow removal). In addition, should the subject property be insured, it’s important to note that any recovery in excess of the insurance cap will be the responsibility of the property owner.

For example, an individual seeks monetary damages for a personal injury accident in the amount of $1,500,000.00. If the property owner’s policy covers damages only up to $1,000,000.00, then the property owner will be open to liability for the additional $500,000.00. If the property was owned by a corporate entity – not an individual – then under most circumstances, the entity – and not the individual investor – would be subject to this liability. Thus, it is also important for an investor to make sure that his or her entity is property insured in a sufficient amount to protect the investment property.

If there is more than one investor in a property, using a corporate entity has the additional advantage of using an Operating Agreement, or other corporate governance document, to set the parameters for how the property will be utilized, protected, and sold. For example, if two individuals own a property together, and one wishes to sell, and the other not, the only remedy is expensive litigation by way of a “partition action”. An operating agreement can provide that a property be sold pursuant to a vote of a certain number of ownership interest, avoiding costly litigation. There may also be tax and financial benefits to purchasing or owning an investment property under a corporate entity.

While there are costs to form an LLC or other corporate entity, for the purpose of purchasing real property, the benefits often far outweigh these costs. Simply stated, it’s important not to be penny wise, pound foolish when engaging in investment property ownership. Ownership in a corporate entity, while having minor upfront costs, can help avoid substantial, and expensive, future headaches.

If you have any questions for Brendan Lantry, Esq. or the Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC team about setting up a Limited Liability Company for your real estate investments in New York call 718-667-9090 today!

Tax issues for foreign nationals when purchasing property in New York City.

There are many foreign investors interested in purchasing property in New York City, which is increasingly the engine that drives the real estate industry here. However, before attempting to purchase a real estate property, a purchaser should be aware of some simple rules of thumb before they make an offer. For purchases over $1,000,000, there is a “mansion tax” of 1%. For some properties and new developments, the developers of the property might require a buyer to pay “transfer taxes,” which are charged both at the city and state levels. New York City charges a 1% tax for sales under $500,000 and 1.425% for sales above that price. The state of New York’s transfer tax is a flat 0.4% for all sales. This is not something buyers will be responsible to pay if their property is not a newly developed. Buyers who are securing financing for their purchase will also find that the lender will be responsible for a “mortgage recording tax” of 0.25%. For sales under $500,000, that tax totals 2.05% (1.8% to be paid by the buyer), and for all other sales the tax is 2.175% (so 1.925% to be paid by the buyer).

Estate Tax Consequences

There are some differences to be aware of in the terms of estate tax. If it is a foreigner who is not a US citizen nor a permanent resident, i.e. green card holder, he or she will be subject to hefty federal and state estate taxes, which means the property cannot be sold unless the estate pays off the estate taxes due within nine months after the death of a loved one. It’s a crucial bit of information that is easy to overlook and it’s something that any foreign purchaser should be aware of.

Federal tax deferral program does not apply to foreigners

For any foreign investors purchasing property in New York City, there are no restrictions as to how many properties or what type of property they can buy. However, when foreigners try to sell the property in the future, they are not eligible to utilize the federal tax code (IRC Code Section 1031) that is known as “Section 1031 Exchange”. This tax code is to benefit investors who are selling property for profit. They do not have to pay capital gains right away if they can purchase another real estate investment property and close the title within 180 days. However, this tax benefit rule does not apply to foreigners.

Capital Gain Tax

A foreign seller has to file federal capital gain tax at the closing table, no matter whether the sale results in a profit or a loss. A foreign seller will have to pay a federal capital gain tax of 10% of the selling price to the US Treasury. At the end of the year, when the foreign seller prepares their personal tax return, they will be able to get back any amount overpaid or pay any balance due on the personal capital gain tax. This is quite different from a domestic seller.

There are a lot of benefits for foreigners purchasing property here, especially in the New York City area because the property value is booming, the rental income is pretty stable and with the higher demand for inventory in the future, it is foreseeable for the near future that property values will continue to increase. Each foreign national, however, should thoroughly discuss the pros, the cons, and the tax consequences with their real estate attorney and accountant before they make an offer or sign the contract.

Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC is proud to work with the rapidly growing Chinese community in New York City. Call us today if you have any questions about buying property as a foreign national. Jackie Huang speaks Shanghainese, Cantonese, and Mandarin and she can help you cut through the red tape and assist you and your family when buying a home, co-op, or a condo.





第二个就是联邦的投资人延税计划1031 exchange. 外国人在纽约州买房子,买在哪里,买多少,买什么样的房子都没有任何的限制。但是如果外国人要出售的时候,他们是不能够用享受联邦的1031 exchange 延税计划来延迟支付投资利润增值所得税。也就是说,如果出售的时候房子有利润,国内的业主是不需要马上支付增值所得税,而是通过重新再购买一个投资房,就可以延迟支付这个增值所得税。但是该购入的房子的交易必须在第一个出售的房子过户以后180之内完成。但是这个规定外国人是不享有的。




在纽约市购买投资房产的话,其实也是一个比较受到全世界投资人热衷的投资的方式。房产比较保值,,租金收入相对来说也是比较稳定的,在将来的话也是对这个房子的需求也是比较大的。但是提醒所有的外国投资人必须要跟他们的律师,会计师进行深入的讨论和咨询,关于这个在美国投资的好处,不好的地方以及所有的税务的后果。然后再确定说到底要不要购买,或者是签署合同。这才是一个信息全面的决定informed decision

real estate law and business law of counsel
June 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Law Firm Menicucci Villa Cilmi Marks 20th Anniversary of Residential Lending Division’s Operations Director

Expansion of Dina Malliae’s workplace responsibilities were inspired by a proactive response to tougher banking regulations by the Staten Island-based legal practice

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Dina Malliae, operations director of the Residential Lending division at Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC (MVC), is celebrating her 20th anniversary with the law firm, much to the delight of its namesake founder.

“Dina has proven her capabilities over a span of two decades, working with our firm’s partners and the lending institutions we represent,” said MVC Managing Partner Michael M. Menicucci. “She has never faltered in her ability to embrace vital and complex responsibilities with eagerness and self-confidence, arguably playing an integral role in the growth of our firm.”

However, Ms. Malliae said she would not have foreseen her latest career milestone 20 years ago.

“I took this position as a mom with two little kids who was buying a home and retained Mike [Menicucci] to be my lawyer,” recalled Ms. Malliae, whose employment at the firm began in December 1997. “I wasn’t looking for a job, but Mike offered me an opportunity to work at the office just a few hours a week – and it seemed like the perfect fit at the time.”

Upon her arrival, Ms. Malliae lacked an understanding of the mortgage industry, but that would dramatically change.

“Over time, Mike taught me the business,” she said. “As I was learning, the department was growing, and together we transformed it from a two-man show into a fully staffed lender-services department, representing most of the top mortgage lenders and brokers.”

As the years went by, industry regulations became stricter, guidelines become more demanding – and MVC evolved with the times.

“We developed and integrated a state-of-the-art IT system, which was fully Dodd-Frank compliant,” Ms.  Malliae said.

The firm’s proactive response to tougher banking regulations inspired an expansion of Ms. Malliae’s responsibilities.

“We had to quickly learn and adhere to these demands from an operational standpoint, which led to a change in my role at the firm,” she said.

Today, as operations director of MVC’s Residential Lending division, some of Ms. Malliae’s work involves regulatory compliance; training of staff with regard to Dodd-Frank and TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) guidelines; processing and closing loans; preparation of profit and loss (P&L) statements; conferring with the firm’s senior partners; traveling to out-of-state lender sites, and more.



February 13th, 2018|MVC News|

NYC Law Firm Menicucci Villa Cilmi Adds ‘Triple Threat’ Litigator to Legal Team

Attorney Brendan T. Lantry, an experienced political counsel, criminal prosecutor and civil litigator is based at New York law firm’s Staten Island headquarters

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  – The legal team of Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC (MVC) is marking the recent addition of accomplished civil litigator, former political counsel and criminal prosecutor Brendan T. Lantry.

“I’m delighted to have Brendan Lantry on board,” said Michael M. Menicucci, the law firm’s founder and managing partner. “His litigation experience, political savvy, and courtroom acuity are a ‘triple threat,’ and support MVC’s mission of providing the expertise and dedication our clients expect of us.”

Lantry, 31, experienced a variety of legal roles prior to joining Menicucci Villa Cilmi as an associate in late 2017, such as: Litigation associate with one of New York City’s premier medical malpractice defense firms; district director to Congressman Daniel (Dan) M. Donovan Jr.; counsel to former New York City Council Minority Leader Vincent M. Ignizio; assistant district attorney in Kings County, and legislative aide to State Sen. Andrew J. Lanza.

In his new position, Lantry is primarily focusing upon civil litigation, including commercial and personal injury litigation, as well as election law matters, commercial agreements and real estate transactions.

“MVC maintains a stellar reputation in the Staten Island litigation, real estate, and commercial-transaction legal communities,” Lantry said. “I’m elated to join this team of fine professionals in providing diligent and efficient legal representation to the Staten Island and Brooklyn communities, and all of metropolitan New York. Thank you to Michael Menicucci and the rest of the MVC team for providing me with this opportunity.”



February 3rd, 2018|MVC News|

Staten Island Real Estate Option: Easy Walk to Shops and Restaurants

Attorney with experience in banking, finance, business and real estate development spotlights borough’s neighborhoods with ‘walkability’

Some Staten Island neighborhoods are mastering the small-town appeal of bygone days, maintaining walkability in an age of commuters, vehicles and mass transit. This is apparent from St. George and Port Richmond to West Brighton, Meiers Corners, New Dorp, Eltingville, and other communities across the borough.

“Although cars are seen by many as a suburban-like necessity in some parts of Staten Island, there are neighborhoods where people stroll from their homes to enjoy local amenities,” said real estate legal expert, founder and managing partner of the law firm Menicucci Villa Cilmi PLLC. “The ‘Borough of Parks’ is particularly appealing because it offers a choice between ‘walkability’ and a more vehicle-dependent suburban lifestyle.”

Millennials have been propelling interest in walkable communities, but they are no longer alone, Menicucci said, citing a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). According to the report, members of the silent or greatest generation, those born before 1944, also prefer smaller homes in neighborhoods with easy walks to shops and restaurants.

The “2017 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey,” which polled adults from across the United States about what they are looking for in a community, found that 62 percent of millennials and 55 percent of the silent generation prefer walkable communities and short commutes, even if it means living in an apartment or townhouse.


Gen-Xers and baby boomers still show a strong preference toward suburban living, with 55 percent of both groups saying that they have no problem with a longer commute and driving to amenities if it means living in a single-family, detached home.

According to the survey, the majority of Americans, 53 percent, would prefer to live in communities containing houses with small yards but within easy walking distance of the community’s amenities, as opposed to living in communities with houses that have large yards but they have to drive to all amenities. This up from 48 percent in 2015.

However, responders with school-age kids in the home, regardless of their generation, show a greater preference for conventional suburban communities. Sixty percent of all responders with kids in school said they prefer larger homes and yards that require driving, and that number jumps to 63 percent for millennials with kids in school.


The survey also found a majority of Americans, 88 percent, are very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of life in their communities, and 51 percent of those people believe that the walkability of their neighborhood contributes to that quality of life.

The report found that women, particularly young women, prioritize walkability and public transit more than older or younger men. Fifty-four percent of young women said that sidewalks and places to take walks is a very important factor in deciding where to live, and 39 percent said the same about having public transit nearby.

However, when it comes to a short commute to work, youth was a greater indicator of preference than gender; 49 percent of young women and 48 percent of young men said being within a short commute to work was a very important factor in deciding where to live.

While 60 percent of adults surveyed live in detached, single-family homes, 21 percent of those respondents said they would rather live in an attached home and have greater walkability. Sixty percent of those surveyed also said that they would be willing to pay a little or a lot more to live within walking distance of parks, shops and restaurants.

“The latest development projects on Staten Island’s North Shore tie in well with those seeking to embrace the conveniences of a walkable community, particularly with all the additional shopping and dining opportunities destined for the area,” Menicucci said.


When selecting a new home, respondents indicated that they would like choices when it comes to their community’s transportation options. Eighty-six percent of survey participants said that sidewalks are a positive factor when purchasing a home, and 80 percent place importance on being within easy walking distance of places.

When it comes to respondents’ thoughts on transportation priorities for the government, 73 percent indicated that maintaining and repairing roads and bridges should be a high priority, with expanding roads to help alleviate or reduce congestion as the next highest priority, at 54 percent.

The survey of 3,000 adult Americans living in the 50 largest metropolitan areas was conducted by American Strategies and Meyers Research in September 2017.