Justice Department Secures Settlement in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Koreatown Property Manager and Apartment Owner

LOS ANGELES – The Justice Department announced today an agreement to resolve a federal lawsuit alleging sexual harassment at an apartment building in Koreatown, where a property manager was accused of violating the Fair Housing Act by sexually harassed multiple female residents over a period of years.

Under the consent order filed today in United States District Court, M&F Development, LLC, the owner of the apartment building on South Western Avenue, has agreed to pay $120,000 to compensate individuals harmed by the harassment by property manager Abraham Kesary. In addition to the compensation payment, M&F Development agreed to pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the United States. The consent order permanently bars Kesary from property management and requires the retention of an independent property manager approved by the Department of Justice for the Koreatown rental property. The consent order also bars future discrimination and retaliation, mandates Fair Housing Act training, and requires extensive monitoring and reporting regarding property management activities and compliance with the terms of the consent order.

The lawsuit, which is part of the Justice Department’s nationwide Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative, alleged that from at least 2012 until at least 2020, Kesary subjected female residents at the apartment complex to unwanted harassment. The complaint alleged Kesary offered housing-related benefits in exchange for sexual acts, made unwelcome sexual comments and advances, entered female residents’ homes without their permission, and subjected these tenants to unwelcome sexual acts.

“Our office will not stand for unlawful discrimination of any type,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “The lengthy course of sexual harassment against female residents alleged in this case is disturbing and unacceptable. We will continue to be vigilant in holding landlords and property managers accountable for discrimination and harassment, and the Fair Housing Act gives us a powerful tool to seek justice for victims.”

“Tenants have the right to live in their homes free from sexual harassment by their landlords,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce fair housing laws against landlords who prey on vulnerable residents.”

Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of sexual harassment or other types of housing discrimination may contact the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-833-591-0291. Individuals may also email the Justice Department at fairhousing@usdoj.gov or submit a report online. Reports also may be made by contacting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777 or by filing a complaint online.

Individuals in the seven counties of the Central District of California may file a complaint about housing discrimination or other civil rights violations with the Civil Rights Section, Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office by completing and submitting this form (English) (Spanish) by email to USACAC.CV-CivilRights@usdoj.gov.

Assistant United States Attorney Margaret Chen of the Civil Division’s Civil Rights Section and attorneys from the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the United States Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division litigated this matter.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here