FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Former Greenpoint Securities Broker Indicted
In Connection With $3.6 Million Financial Fraud
Defendant Allegedly Stole Money that He was Supposed to Invest for Polish Businessman
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a former Greenpoint securities broker is charged with first-degree grand larceny and other charges for allegedly stealing $3.6 million that he was supposed to invest for a Polish businessman.
District Attorney Thompson said, “The defendant is charged with stealing millions of dollars from a long-time client who put his trust in him. We will now do all that we can to put him in prison, where he belongs, and recover the victim’s money.”
The District Attorney said that the defendant, Roman Sledziejowski, 35, of Memphis, Tennessee (formerly Ossining, New York) was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 16-count indictment in which he is charged with one count of first-degree grand larceny, one count of first-degree money laundering, seven counts of first-degree falsifying business records, and seven counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. The defendant was ordered held on bail of $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash and to return to court on August 10, 2016. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendant was a licensed broker registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority from 1998 through 2012. He was also the Chief Executive Officer of the broker-dealer firm TWS Financial, LLC, a.k.a., Trade Wall Street, located at 739 Manhattan Avenue, in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
It is alleged that the defendant, who is Polish, met the victim, a 68-year-old Polish immigrant and successful businessman, at a social function in 2006 and that two years later, after developing a relationship, the defendant became the victim’s stockbroker. The victim and the defendant, who spoke to each other in Polish, spoke a few times a month and met once a month in the Greenpoint office or in the victim’s office. The victim did not have experience with or knowledge of the American financial markets.
It is alleged in the indictment that over time the defendant gained the victim’s trust and then abused that trust, violated his ethical obligations as a broker and victimized the individual by stealing from him. Following the defendant’s advice, the victim transferred money from his personal and business accounts to an account specified by Sledziejowski.
The defendant, according to the indictment, told the victim he would use the money to make numerous investments for him, but instead of making investments he simply transferred the money to his own accounts and then transferred it to accounts in the names of other individuals.
The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, Sledziejowski tried to conceal his theft by providing false documents to the victim. The documents purported to be confirmations of trades executed on the victim’s behalf and account summary statements that reflected the balances consistent with the victim’s belief about his account. It is alleged that none of the trades were ever executed. In fact, the victim’s account had a zero balance.
As a result of this scheme, the defendant allegedly stole approximately $3.6 million from the victim.
The District Attorney said that the alleged scheme was discovered after brokers employed by the defendant filed a complaint with the DA’s office claiming they were owed commissions. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of this defendant is urged to call the District Attorney’s Action Center at 718-250-2430.
The case was investigated by Financial Investigator Vincent Jones, Paralegal Megan Carroll, Supervising Detective Investigator Robert Addonizio and Edwin Murphy, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Heidi Bausk of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Felice Sontupe, Chief of the Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.