Authorities are seeking criminal charges against a New York landlord and two contractors for endangering the lives of tenants and construction workers in an East Harlem apartment building.

The owner of the building at 21 East 125th Street, Ephraim Vashovsky, allegedly conspired with contractors Adam Cohen and Shaoul Ohana to force tenants out of their rent-stabilized apartments by conducting unauthorized construction and demolition on the property, which led to hazardous living conditions including unsupported structures and a lack of heat and hot water.

Most tenants relented and moved out, but one family in particular — with five young children ranging in ages from one to 12 — refused. The property managers reportedly further threatened to report the family, who are all undocumented immigrants from Mexico, to immigration services if they refused to comply.

Despite a failure to comply with the terms of the lease, Vashovsky continued to collect rent from the family as well as deposit Department of Social Services checks for tenants who had already moved out of the building.

The illegal construction on the site also proved hazardous for workers due to a lack of provided safety nets, critical load-bearing structures, floor joists, or available fire escapes or ladders. A Stop Work Order was issued after an inspection in March. Additionally, the costs of cleaning up the construction site might run anywhere from $150 to $950.

Manhattan’s District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., along with New York City Public Advocate Letitia James and Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, had strong words for the accused, which doubled as a warning to other area landlords.

“Today’s indictment should be a message that anyone who hurt tenants in our city will get more than a slap on the wrist,” James said at a press conference. “Ephraim Vashovsky, one of New York City’s worst landlords, forced tenants to live in inhumane and life-threatening conditions, prioritizing his bottom line before the lives of children and families.”

“Bad actors who put profits ahead of people’s lives need to take warning,” Chandler added. “You can’t tear apart an occupied building, especially when a family with young children is living there. This was a demolition disguised as a renovation job. The building owner and contractor showed utter disregard for their tenants’ safety and we are determined to hold them accountable.”