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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shocker: $1 Million Dollar Fraud Behind NY Lawyer's Murder

Execution-Style Murder of NY Lawyer, His Wife Blows Lid Off Alleged $1 Million Conspiracy
The New York Law Journal by Mark Fass - February 23, 2010

In July 2008, Brooklyn attorney Mark Schwartz and his wife Christina Petrowski-Schwartz, a divorce mediator, were found shot dead—"execution-style," according to the tabloids—in their bed in their Marine Park home. Yesterday, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office announced the indictment and arrests of four defendants who, along with the couple themselves, allegedly operated a million-dollar criminal conspiracy involving money laundering, identity theft, mortgage fraud and larceny. Read the indictment. The investigation into the murders remains ongoing, and the prosecution has not alleged a direct link between the conspiracy and the deaths. Rather, the district attorney's office said the murder probe led to the discovery of the crime ring. According to the indictment filed yesterday, four individual defendants — Robert Delvicario, Lennox Johnson, Shanda Bruce and Thermine Remy — joined the couple in a series of scams in order to steal and launder money from, among others, the couple's clients. The defendants allegedly recruited straw buyers to participate in fraudulent real estate transactions, then laundered the proceeds through forged documents and stolen identities. Prosecutors said that their crimes stretched from Brooklyn to Queens, Long Island, Westchester County, Connecticut and New Jersey.

One of the main victims of the alleged conspiracy was Tiffany Partners, the principal developer of a Carroll Gardens condominium and a client of Mr. Schwartz. According to the indictment, the defendants drained some $270,000 deposited by the corporation into an escrow account to bond mechanics liens filed by contractors against the property. The defendants—which also include three corporations, Adonis Abstract (which was owned by the Schwartzes), LBW Corp. and Robo Capital Securities—are charged with a wide range of crimes, including enterprise corruption, grand larceny and money laundering. "These defendants thought they could bankroll their extravagant lifestyles by stealing from clients who trusted them, but as is often the case, they eventually turned on each other, robbing their own partners in crime, as well," District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said yesterday at a news conference. "My office will continue to work with the NYPD to determine who killed Mark Schwartz and Christina Petrowski." According to the indictment, three of the defendants—Mr. Delvicario, Mr. Johnson and Ms. Bruce—ultimately "turned" on the Schwartzes and began stealing from Mr. Schwartz's firm. Mr. Delvicario, a former business partner of Mr. Schwartz, has long been considered a suspect in the murders of Mr. Schwartz, 60, and Ms. Petrowski-Schwartz, 48. Reached for comment yesterday, Mr. Delvicario's attorney, solo practioner Joseph Mure, said, "We'd love to see the discovery on how they connect [Mr. Delvicario] to all this." Mr. Mure added that his client "obviously denied and continues to deny" any responsibility for the murders. The individual defendants were arrested early yesterday morning and face prison sentences of up to 25 years. Assistant District Attorneys Laura Neubauer and Wojciech Jackowski of the Rackets Division are prosecuting the case, which investigators dubbed "Operation Bankroll."


PERRY COMO said...

It's just impossible (that an attorney-- an officer of the court--- would be involved in any fraud, let alone a fraud worth a ton of money) It's just impossible.....

Anonymous said...

Saint Andrew, Patron Saint of Crooked Lawyers and Judges, sends his condolences to his deceased beneficiaries, the murdered lawyers. Saint Andrew takes no responsibility, because the lawyers were killed by persons not under his care, i.e, they weren't killed by other crooked lawyers. Saint Andrew deplores the thought that they got what they deserved.

Anonymous said...

I wonder who is next...

Anonymous said...

they weren't killed by other crooked lawyers

those guys just use our police and court system to try to kill the innocents by continually violating their rights and committing felonies, what do they care, who will catch them?

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys, this is the tip of the Ice Berg! Lets see if Charley Hynes does the right thing, after all he is running for Andy Cuomo Attorney General Slot!

scam victim said...

These bums were only small time players in this whole thing. There is a lot of money at stake here so things happen.

Anonymous said...

You should examine his wife's divorce. You will find how this corrupt agent and the courts circumvented the law in prior child custody litigation.

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