Millionaire Brooklyn Couples Stealing Millions in Benefits… Very Charitable of Them



Brooklyn ‘Millionaires’ Busted for Stealing $1.3M in Benefits, Feds Say


WILLIAMSBURG — Three Brooklyn couples, including a landlord with properties all over the borough, were arrested Tuesday on charges of defrauding the government of $1.3 million worth of benefits.

Shlomo Kubitshuk, 38, and his wife Rachel, 39, Naftali, 40, and Hinda Englander, 41, and Leib, 39, and Devorah Teitelbaum, 36, were accused of lying about their income to the federal government as far back as 2001 in order to collect thousands of dollars worth of food stamps, Section 8 housing vouchers and Medicaid.

“For over a decade, this ring of six defendants allegedly lied to city and federal officials about their financial status in order to obtain benefits that were meant for the needy,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

The six were slapped with a multiple counts of conspiracy to steal government funds and theft of government funds, which carry a five and ten year maximum sentence respectively, court documents show.

In two separate complaints unsealed Tuesday, prosecutors said the six benefited from $457,000 in Section 8 vouchers to pay for NYCHA apartments, $130,000 in food stamps and $733,000 in Medicaid payouts.

“At a time when affordable housing is scarce and there is a waiting list for Section 8 vouchers, it is reprehensible that some New Yorkers went without so that these defendants could have still more,” said Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters.

Shlomo Kubitshuk owns multiple properties across Brooklyn, according to prosecutors, including 56 Grattan, 98 Grattan St. and 177 Montrose in East Williamsburg, 327 Melrose St., 318 Melrose St. and 1436 Greene St. in Bushwick and 1144 Bergen St. in Prospect Heights.

The state had records of Kubitshuk taking in $560,000 in rental income in 2013, and in multiple applications for mortgages he said his assets were worth more than $2 million, prosecutors said.

His wife said she took in $300,000 in annual income through another LLC company on a 2013 credit card application, according to the complaint.

Despite that, the pair claimed only $13,409 a year in combined income for around a decade in order to qualify for federal subsidies, federal prosecutors charge.

Naftali Eglander, owner of a U.K. real estate company City Gate Estates Limited worth more than £600,000, and his wife Hinda disclosed only $15,858 in combined annual income between 2001 and 2013, prosecutors said.

Finally Leib Teitlebaum, president of the online jewelry company, professed to earn about $1.2 million a year in a 2006 credit application, according to the state, yet disclosed far less.

“These defendants were millionaires stealing from the poor,” said Peters. “The defendants fraudulently concealed their wealth to obtain benefits.”


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R&R are Racking up a Body Count – Wrack and Ruin


UPDATED : FBI, IAB arrest top NYPD brass, Jeremy Reichberg in latest developments of Federal corruption probe

Four New York Police Department officers, including two who were formerly assigned to the gun Licensing Bureau, were arrested Monday morning, along with Jeremy Reichberg, a campaign contributor of Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City).

The Licensing Bureau was previously implicated in the arrest of Brooklyn businessman Shaya (Alex) Lichtenstein. Two of the officers arrested or charged Monday were identified as NYPD Sgt. David Villanuevaand NYPD Officer Richard Ochetal, both of whom were formerly assigned to the gun licensing bureau. During a Monday press conference, it was announced by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara that NYPD Officer Ochetal had pleaded guilty and was coöperating with the Government.

Mr. Lichtenstein and NYPD Sgt. Villanueva were charged in a superseding grand jury indictment with crimes stemming from alleged bribes made by Mr. Lichtenstein to, amongst others, NYPD Sgt. Villanueva that related to the expedited processing of gun permits. Mr. Lichtenstein allegedly offered an unidentified undercover officer $6,000 in bribe money to process each gun permit that Mr. Lichtenstein was allegedly seeking. A separate, unnamed NYPD officer was identified in the superseding indictment as a coöperating witness in the Government’s case against Mr. Lichtenstein and NYPD Sgt. Villanueva, and that coöperating witness has pleaded guilty to bribery charges related to the charged conspiracy, according to the superseding indictment. Demands were made in the superseding indictment that each of Mr. Lichtenstein and NYPD Sgt. Villanueva forfeit the proceeds of their crimes.

NYPD Officer Ochetal was accused of soliciting, demanding, and accepting bribes in exchange for allegedly having expedited the processing of gun permits, and a demand was made that NYPD Officer Ochetal forfeit the proceeds of those alleged bribes, according to a charging document signed by U.S. Attorney Bharara, one of the nation’s top Federal prosecutors.

Two other officers arrested on Monday were identified as Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Deputy Inspector James Grant. Deputy Chief Harrington and Deputy Inspector Grant were alleged to have received bribes from Mr. Reichberg in exchange for Mr. Reichberg and members of Mr. Reichberg’s community in Borough Park, Brooklyn, having received official police benefits, according to some of the allegations in the sealed complaint signed by U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses. The charges of the alleged crimes filed against Deputy Chief Harrington, Deputy Inspector Grant, and Mr. Reichberg, which allegedly date back to 2012, were made in the same complaint.

Revelations about the arrests were previously noted in a report filed by Rocco Parascandola for The New York Daily News and a report filed by Jonathan Dienst and Joe Valiquette for WNBC Channel 4 News.

Early, disparate information about the arrests were first reported by selected news outlets prior to the public release of the charging documents, which were later received by Progress Queens from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New York’s southern district. The charging documents were published online by Progress Queens.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau reportedly conducted the arrests.

Prior to Monday’s arrests, numerous NYPD officers had been reassigned or disciplined as a consequence of a reported wide-ranging, Federal corruption investigation examining whether NYPD officers were bestowing official acts in exchange for having received gifts. As reported by Progress Queens, the conduct of the Federal corruption investigation into the activities of NYPD officers has contrasted with past investigations of the troubled police department. In recent decades past, whenever corruption at the NYPD has been investigated, the mayor of New York City had formed a public commission to conduct public hearings, so that the proceedings could be transparent to the public. That precedent for transparency contrasts sharply with the conduct of private investigations being led by Federal prosecutors and other law enforcement agents.

The spectre of wide-ranging corruption allegedly running rampant at the NYPD has yet led to the removal of NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, despite calls for his resignation, made at various times by grass roots activists and police union officials. Commissioner Bratton’s on-going command of the NYPD is unique amongst other big-city police forces, where changes in leadership have been effected as a result of gross mismanagement or reports of wide-spread misconduct. Leadership changes have taken place at the Oakland Police Department, the San Francisco Police Department, and the Chicago Police Department, but not at the NYPD. This peculiarity is all the more inexplicable, because Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) invoked the language of police reform and accountability, in part, to win the Democratic Party primary in the 2013 mayoral race.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Press Conference Advisory, Monday, June 20, 2016, at 12:00 p.m.

There will be a press conference today at 12:00 p.m. to announce charges against several New York City Police Department officers and others for public corruption offenses.  Relevant charging documents are attached. 


Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York

Diego Rodriguez, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department


Monday, June 20, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.


U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York

1 St. Andrew’s Plaza

New York, NY 10007


James Margolin, Dawn Dearden, Nicholas Biase

(212) 637-2600


Please arrive early to permit clearance through security.  Please silence all cell phones, PDAs, and pagers before start of press conference.

Updated June 20, 2016

di Blasio and Clipper Equity, David Bistricer

Mayor de Blasio and Sheldon Silver…. two peas in a pod…

Feds subpoena info on Bistricer’s de Blasio contributions

Investigators seeking evidence of pay-for-play at Mayor’s office

Federal and state corruption investigators are studying documents, emails and financial records related Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign donations. Their subpoena reportedly targets specific donors, and the list includes landlord David Bistricer and his firm Clipper Equity.

Officials are looking for evidence of direct connections between donations to de Blasio and his allies and actions on donor’s’ behalf by the city.

De Blasio and his allies haven’t been accused of wrongdoing, and de Blasio himself has said many times that he and his administration have followed all campaign finance rules

Bistricer, whose family-run firm owns 60 buildings and thousands of residential units in the city, said he hasn’t received a subpoena himself, the Wall Street Journal reported

Bistricer held a fundraiser for de Blasio’s campaign on March 17. Back in 2010, de Blasio, in his role as public advocate, placed Bistricer on a “worst landlords” list. A spokesperson told the Journal he’d been removed from the list because he’d invested in the offending properties.

Clipper Equities bought the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue along with the Chetrit Group in 2013 for $1.1 billion. They sold it earlier this year to Olayan America, a division of the Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group, for just over $1.3 billion.





LostMessiah, April 14, 2016

Preet Bharara has been busy and he’s likely going to be busier. Today was a good day for those of us who like to play “Clue” and actually find out who murdered the professor in the library with the candlestick. It has not been such a good day for Christopher St. Lawrence and his band of Rockland hoodlums. Nor, do we think, is it going to be a good year for Mayor de Blasio, Jona Rechnitz, Jeremy Reichberg, the Allure Group, Landau and so many other fabled Hassidic hoodwinkers. The game is just getting started.

Rivington House Roundup: US Attorney Preet Bharara Investigating Controversial Deed Lifing


“US Attorney Preet Bharara – who helped bring Sheldon Silver to justice – is now investigating the deed lifting that allowed the $116 million sale of Rivington House. “Attorneys working for Bharara, who is also probing two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign donors in an unrelated case, attended a recent meeting about the deed restriction change with staff from other investigating agencies.” [Politico]

To give you an idea of the depth of influence, the Allure Group tapped former Governor David Paterson as consultant. “Whenever Joel had a problem with the state, he’d say, ‘Let me call the governor,’” a source to the Post. A spokesperson noted that Paterson and Allure’s Jon Landau “never discussed” lobbying to secure a deed switch that resulted in the $116 million sale of the Rivington House, and that he hasn’t worked with the firm since 2014. [New York Post]

“This is about the most horrific, hypocritical tale of two cities imaginable in de Blasio’s New York. Again, a wired de Blasio ally is involved, and somehow the city not only lifted the deed restriction but valued the property so minimally that a $16 million payment allowed for its $116 million sale. That’s a nine-figure flip, courtesy of City Hall.” [Daily News]

“No one from the public spoke at the meeting, at which seven property transactions were heard by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. As the scandal has unfolded in recent weeks, those impacted by it say they were unaware the meeting took place, though it was advertised in the City Record, a daily publication of meeting notices, solicitations for contractors and salary changes.” [Capital New York]

Ramapo Town Officials SEC Press Release



SEC: Town Officials in New York Hid Financial Troubles From Bond Investors

04/14/2016 11:00 AM EDT


“The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced fraud charges against Ramapo, N.Y., its local development corporation, and four town officials who allegedly hid a deteriorating financial situation from their municipal bond investors.

The SEC alleges that Ramapo officials resorted to fraud to hide the strain in the town’s finances caused by the approximately $60 million cost to build a baseball stadium as well as the town’s declining sales and property tax revenues.  They cooked the books of the town’s primary operating fund to falsely depict positive balances between $1.4 million and $4.2 million during a six-year period when the town had actually accumulated balance deficits as high as nearly $14 million.  And because the stadium bonds issued by the Ramapo Local Development Corp. (RLDC) were guaranteed by the town, certain officials also masked an operating revenue shortfall at the RLDC and investors were unaware the town would likely need to subsidize those bond payments and further deplete its general fund.

According to the SEC’s complaint, inflated general fund balances were used in offering materials for 16 municipal bond offerings by Ramapo or the RLDC to investors, who consider the condition of a municipality’s general fund when making investment decisions.  After town supervisor Christopher P. St. Lawrence purposely misled a credit rating agency about the town’s general fund balance before certain bonds were rated, he told other town officials to refinance the short-term debt as fast as possible because “we’re going to all have to be magicians” to realize the purported financial results.

“Retail investors account for more than 75 percent of the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market, which is critical for our nation’s infrastructure and development,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division.  “We won’t stand for public officials and employees who resort to alleged accounting trickery to mislead investors who are investing in their financial futures as well as the future betterment of our communities.”

According to the SEC’s complaint:

  • Christopher P. St. Lawrence, who served as RLDC’s president in addition to being town supervisor, masterminded the scheme to artificially inflate the balance of the general fund in financial statements for fiscal years 2009 to 2014.
  • St. Lawrence and Aaron Troodler, a former RLDC executive director and assistant town attorney, concealed from investors that RLDC’s operating revenues were insufficient to cover debt service on bonds to finance the stadium.
  • Town attorney Michael Klein helped conceal outstanding liabilities related to the baseball stadium and repeatedly misled the town’s auditors about the collection of a $3.08 million receivable recorded in the town’s general fund for the sale of a 13.7-acre parcel of land to the RLDC.  But because the title of the property was never transferred from the town to the RLDC, Klein also made misleading statements about the receivable’s source.
  • Troodler helped conceal the fictitious sale and boost the account balance of the town’s general fund by approving RLDC financial statements reflecting a purchase of property that never actually occurred.  Troodler also signed offering documents that contained an additional fabricated receivable totaling $3.66 million for another transfer of land from the town to the RLDC.  The only land transferred from the town to the RLDC during the time of the purported transaction was property donated for the baseball stadium, which St. Lawrence and Troodler knew did not impose any payment obligation on the RLDC.
  • The town’s deputy finance director Nathan Oberman participated in activities to inflate the town’s general fund by arranging $12.4 million in improper transfers from an ambulance fund to bolster the troubled general fund during a six-year period.

In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York today announced criminal charges against St. Lawrence and Troodler.

“We allege that Ramapo’s senior-most officials concealed the true condition of the town’s declining finances to avoid further political fallout from the construction of the baseball stadium,” said LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Public Finance Abuse Unit, which was previously known as the Municipal Securities and Public Pensions Unit.

The SEC’s complaint charges Ramapo, RLDC, St. Lawrence, Troodler, Klein, and Oberman with violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5.  St. Lawrence and Troodler also are charged with liability under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act as controlling persons for the violations by the town and RLDC, and all four town officials are charged with aiding and abetting violations by the town and RLDC.  In addition to financial penalties, the SEC seeks a court order appointing an independent consultant for Ramapo and RLDC to recommend improvements for financial reporting and municipal securities disclosure policies and monitor the mandated implementation of those recommendations for a period of five years.  The SEC also seeks an order prohibiting the town officials from participating in future municipal bond offerings.

The SEC’s continuing investigation is being conducted by Daniel M. Loss and Celeste A. Chase of the New York office and Creighton L. Papier of the Public Finance Abuse Unit with assistance from Jonathan Wilcox, Louis Randazzo and Mark R. Zehner from the Public Finance Abuse Unit.  The SEC’s litigation will be led by Alexander M. Vasilescu and Mr. Loss.  The case is being supervised by Sanjay Wadhwa and Ms. Gaunt.  The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office in New York. “

Ramapo’s Christopher St. Lawrence Indictment

LostMessiah, April 14, 2016




– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – X




– v – :


CHRISTOPHER ST. LAWRENCE, and : 16 Cr. ______




Defendants. :


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – X


(Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud)

The Grand Jury charges:


1. At all times relevant to this Indictment:

Relevant Entities

a. The Town of Ramapo (the “Town”) was an incorporated municipality in Rockland County, New York. It was governed by an elected Town Supervisor and an elected Town Board. The Town was authorized by state law to issue bonds to the public. As of August 2015, the Town had $128,150,000 in outstanding bonds, not including bonds for which the Town had guaranteed the payment of principal and interest.