The crackdown on the empire last month was a milestone in the escalating battle between Airbnb and New York City - the company’s largest market in the country. Airbnb condemned the exploitation of its platform, but the scheme showed how the home-sharing site has given opportunists a new kind of hustle.

According to the suit, the ring used multiple misleading identities to dodge Airbnb’s rules, text tourists and book apartments to budget-minded travelers.

AHLA: Statement on illegal Airbnb scheme in New York