A judge ruled yesterday that embattled Brooklyn architect Robert Scarano Jr. can no longer file construction plans after he was caught "deliberately overbuilding" and making multiple false statements "so deceptive that they call to mind out-and-out fraud." The prolific builder—beloved by developers and reviled by community groups for manipulating zoning rules to construct taller and bulkier structures—will no longer be able submit documents to the Department of Buildings, "threatening, at least temporarily, his ability to work as an architect in the city," according to the Times.

The ruling applies to pending applications and new ones he may file. Though the legality of Scarano projects—like Williamsburg's "Finger Building"—has been repeatedly called into question, the ruling itself only addressed three Brooklyn buildings. In one Greenpoint project, Scarano was found to have made false filings that "were not inadvertent" errors in order to build a larger structure. In an East New York development, he was charged with taking pictures that made a lamppost appear to be further from a driveway than it actually was. The judge said the photos were an attempt to "deceive the department, or, in common parlance, to 'put one over' on the department, to 'pull a fast one.'"

Scarano had already been charged with violating zoning rules and building codes on more than 30 projects, stripped of the right to self-certify his plans, and charged with failing to guarantee safe conditions at an Ocean Parkway construction site where a worker died. A spokeswoman for the architect said he is pursuing "all avenues available to reverse the erroneous rulings that were issued today." The Times notes he might be able to skirt the ruling because "another licensed architect in the office could, in theory, submit the firm's applications and building plans."