Brooklyn Man Sentenced to up to 18 Years for Stealing Properties in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

June 13, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to up to 18 Years for Stealing Properties in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Brooklyn man was sentenced to 9 to 18 years in prison for stealing three Brooklyn properties by forging deeds, pretending to be an attorney and selling, or attempting to sell, them to buyers. He sold one empty lot twice and received bids on another home in excess of $1 million.

According to trial testimony, in early 2011, the defendant, Carl Smith, 50, of Lafayette Avenue, stole two properties by filing backdated deeds containing the forged signatures of the owners. One was a lot in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which the defendant proceeded to sell twice: in March 2011 for $12,000 and in April 2011 for $11,000. The other property was a three-story brownstone in Fort Greene, which had been owned by a woman who died in 2001, and which now belonged to her family members. The defendant filed a deed backdated to before the woman’s death and tried to sell the property for more than $1 million, but he was not able to produce a valid title to complete the sale.

The Court nullified the fraudulent deeds, returning the properties to their lawful owners.

The defendant also, according to trial testimony, negotiated a deal in October 2012 to sell a multi-family home in Bedford-Stuyvesant for more than $20,000 by falsely representing himself to be the owner’s attorney and creating a fraudulent deed.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant shamefully stole houses and other property from their rightful owners by using forged documents, engaging in deceit and committing outright fraud.  He did so solely to exploit the lucrative real estate market in Brooklyn.  And now he will spend many years in prison where scammers like him belong.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to up to 18 Years in Prison for Stealing Three Properties in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 13, 2016

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to up to 18 Years in Prison for
Stealing Three Properties in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Fort Greene

Forged Deeds, Acted as an Attorney and Took in over $43,000;
Tried Selling another Brownstone for over $1 Million

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Brooklyn man was sentenced to nine to 18 years in prison for stealing three Brooklyn properties by forging deeds, pretending to be an attorney and selling, or attempting to sell, them to buyers. He sold one empty lot twice and received bids on another home in excess of $1 million.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant shamefully stole houses and other property from their rightful owners by using forged documents, engaging in deceit and committing outright fraud.  He did so solely to exploit the lucrative real estate market in Brooklyn.  And now he will spend many years in prison where scammers like him belong.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Carl Smith, 50, of Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Alexander Jeong to an indeterminate term of nine to 18 years in prison following his conviction on May 23, 2016 after a jury trial of two counts of second-degree grand larceny, two counts of third-degree grand larceny, two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, one count of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and unlawful practice of law. The defendant, who has numerous prior felony convictions, was facing mandatory prison time for the conviction.

The District Attorney said that, according to testimony at trial, in February 2011, the defendant stole 45 Lewis Avenue, a lot in Bedford-Stuyvesant, by filing a backdated deed containing the forged signature of a man who bought the lot in 1999. Having been granted ownership of the property, the defendant sold it twice: in March 2011 to the owner of an adjacent laundromat for $12,000 and in April 2011 to another man for $11,000.

The evidence further showed that the defendant stole 139 Vanderbilt Avenue, a three-story brownstone in Fort Greene. The house was purchased in 1982 by Dolores Teel, who died in 2001, with the home passing on to her family members. Around April 2011, the defendant filed a deed, backdated prior to Teel’s death and bearing her forged signature, to gain ownership of the house. He received several bids from potential buyers, some exceeding $1 million, but was not able to produce a valid title to complete the sale.

Around October 2012, according to testimony, the defendant negotiated a deal to sell 64 Hart Street, a multi-family home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, by falsely representing himself to be the owner’s attorney and presenting documents containing her forged signature. The property was purchased in 1975 by Mary Brown and was inherited by her daughter when she died in 1994. An investor the defendant was negotiating with paid him over $20,000 for the deed and related fees after the investor was provided with fraudulent contract of sale and deed.

The jury additionally heard evidence about an uncharged larceny in which the defendant stole 543 Lexington Avenue, a two-story home in Bedford-Stuyvesant. He did that around May 2003 by, again, forging and backdating a deed. The defendant then sold that home to an associate, bringing eviction proceedings against the rightful owner, Jerome Farrell, who lived there until his death in February 2015.

The defendant was indicted and arrested in 2013 and was later charged in a separate 2014 indictment in relation to the Lewis Avenue property.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Frank Dudis and Assistant District Attorney Cooper Gorrie of the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit, under the supervision of Richard Farrell, Unit Chief, and Felice Sontupe, Chief of the Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the Investigations Division and Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.

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Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Announces 4th Begin Again Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 7, 2016

 

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Announces 4th Begin Again Event

Community Initiative That Has Helped Thousands of New Yorkers
Clear Open Summons Warrants

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that his office will host its fourth Begin Again event—a summons warrant adjudication initiative—aimed at helping residents address their open summons matters and clear the staggering backlog of warrants in the New York City summons court system. The event will take place on Saturday, June 11, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, located at 1405 Bushwick Avenue, in Bushwick.

District Attorney Thompson said, “Through Begin Again, we have helped thousands of New Yorkers and resolved many outstanding summonses.  We are committed to giving the people of Brooklyn a new start and doing all that we can to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the communities that we serve.”

Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez said, “Too many young people and people of color are unfairly ensnared in the legal system because of outstanding warrants and summonses related to minor infractions. I have seen firsthand how the Begin Again program helps New Yorkers achieve a clean slate so they can move on with their lives. I applaud DA Thompson for continuing to expand this important initiative.”

Council Member Antonio Reynoso said, “People of all demographics suffer from the negative consequences associated with outstanding warrants and summonses related to minor infractions. Begin Again offers New Yorkers a second chance to positively contribute to the community without limitations imposed by these sanctions. I want to thank DA Thompson for bringing this program to Bushwick and encourage my constituents to participate.”

Council Member Rafael Espinal said, “Begin Again is such an important event for the residents of Brooklyn. It gives people an opportunity to resolve any outstanding minor summonses and warrants while at the same time helping ease the overwhelming backlog of cases in our city’s courts. It is my hope that Brooklynites with open warrants will take advantage of these services so that they can start fresh and get a new lease on life.”

Previously, Begin Again has been held in Clinton Hill, East New York and Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The District Attorney’s Office is partnering with the Office of Court Administration, the Legal Aid Society and the New York City Police Department to once again provide on-site legal counsel and give New Yorkers a chance to clear their outstanding warrants.

Individuals who appear for Begin Again will first consult with on-site attorneys from the Legal Aid Society to make sure only eligible summons warrants are heard. All participants will then enter a makeshift courtroom, where a judge will be on hand to address the outstanding summons and bench warrants that resulted from the failure to respond to summonses for a multitude of low-level offenses, including walking a dog without a leash or being in a park after closing.

There are over one million open summons warrants citywide.  These summons warrants, when left unresolved, carry a number of negative consequences including impeding one’s ability to apply for citizenship, secure employment or obtain public housing.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is committed to keeping Brooklyn safe and fair for all and will continue to expand its Begin Again event to other locations throughout the borough in the future.

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Construction Company Owner Indicted for Manslaughter; Failed to Secure Building Site, Leaving Worker to Fall to His Death

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

June 6, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Construction Company Owner Indicted for Manslaughter;
Failed to Secure Building Site, Leaving Worker to Fall to His Death

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters, today announced that the owner of a Bensonhurst construction company and his businesses have been indicted on manslaughter and other charges stemming from an incident at a Coney Island construction site in April 2015 that left a 50-year-old construction worker dead.

According to the indictment, on April 1, 2015, the defendant, Salvatore Schirripa, and employees from his company J & M Metro General Contracting Corp., were pouring and smoothing concrete on the sixth floor of a construction site at 360 Neptune Avenue, in Coney Island. At around 11 in the morning, three of Schirripa’s employees were working along the building’s edge, outside a wire cable protective fence, without harnesses or any fall protection required by law. One of the workers, 50-year-old Vidal Sanchez-Ramon, was walking backwards, using a rake-like instrument to smooth the concrete in front of him, when he reached the edge and fell six floors to his death.

The incident followed an alleged string of safety violations by Schirripa and his companies dating back to 2011.

District Attorney Thompson said, “A hardworking man died tragically and unnecessarily because proper safety measures were not taken to protect his life. As buildings go up all over Brooklyn, we owe it to every construction worker to make sure that they don’t lose their lives due to short cuts on safety. This indictment for manslaughter reflects that commitment.”

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Read the full press release here.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Construction Company Owner Indicted for Manslaughter; Failed to Secure Building Site, Leaving Worker to Fall to His Death

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 6, 2016

 

Construction Company Owner Indicted for Manslaughter;
Failed to Secure Building Site, Leaving Worker to Fall to His Death

Defendant Failed to Adhere to Regulations and Correct Unsafe Conditions;
Neglected to Obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Or to Contribute to Unemployment Insurance Fund

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters, today announced that the owner of a  Bensonhurst construction company and his businesses have been indicted on manslaughter and other charges stemming from an incident at a Coney Island construction site in April 2015 that left a 50-year-old construction worker dead.

District Attorney Thompson said, “A hardworking man died tragically and unnecessarily because proper safety measures were not taken to protect his life. As buildings go up all over Brooklyn, we owe it to every construction worker to make sure that they don’t lose their lives due to short cuts on safety. This indictment for manslaughter reflects that commitment.”

Commissioner Peters said, “As charged, these defendants recklessly cut corners and ignored standard safety procedures resulting in another tragic and preventable death on a construction site. This indictment is the latest result from a series of systemic criminal investigations DOI has conducted into fatalities in the construction industry leading to significant arrests, including the 2015 East Village gas explosion and a trench collapse in 2014 that killed a worker in the Meatpacking District. DOI will continue to aggressively investigate safety practices on construction sites and collaborate with its law enforcement partners, including the Brooklyn District Attorney, in calling to account those individuals who endanger construction safety.”

OSHA Regional Administrator Robert Kulick said, “The deaths of Mr. Sanchez and the seven other New York City construction workers in falls in 2015 were all needless and preventable. These were people, not numbers. This indictment sends a strong message to those employers who would neglect their legal responsibility to provide their employees with safe workplaces and working conditions. We thank District Attorney Thompson and Commissioner Peters and their staffs for their efforts.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Salvatore Schirripa, 66, and his companies, J & M Metro General Contracting Corp., located on 63rd Street, and Metrotech Development Corp., located on 64th Street, both in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an eight-count indictment in which he and his companies are variously charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, second-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, second-degree criminal possession of a false instrument, violation of the workers’ compensation law, and willful failure to pay contributions to the unemployment insurance fund. Schirripa was ordered held on $35,000 bail and to return to court on September 7, 2016. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, on April 1, 2015, Salvatore Schirripa and employees from J & M Metro General Contracting Corp., were pouring and smoothing concrete on the sixth floor of a construction worksite at 360 Neptune Avenue, in Coney Island. At approximately 11 a.m., three of Schirripa’s employees were smoothing the concrete along one edge of the building, outside a wire cable protective fence, without harnesses or any fall protection as required by the New York City Building Code and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. While walking backwards, using a rake-like instrument to smooth the concrete in front of him, one of the workers, Vidal Sanchez-Ramon, 50, reached the edge and fell six floors to his death.

On four different occasions, in September 2011, December 2011, April 2013 and August 2014, New York City Department of Buildings inspectors served Schirripa and Metrotech Development Corp., at three separate worksites in Brooklyn, with Notices of Violations, ordering them to immediately provide guardrail systems and handrails to protect workers from falls.

In October 2011, January 2012 and June 2013, after hearings on three of the Notices of Violations, the Environmental Control Board issued decisions to Schirripa and Metrotech Development Corp., reaffirming those obligations. Also, in 2011 and 2012, at a worksite in Brooklyn, OSHA safety compliance officers ordered Schirripa and Metrotech Development Corp. to provide fall protection to their employees in compliance with OSHA regulations.

From August 2014 to April 1, 2015, J & M Metro General Contracting Corp. was the concrete subcontractor on the construction of a six-story commercial building, with a steel frame and concrete floors, at 360 Neptune Avenue. As the employer and foreman, the defendant was responsible for ensuring his workers’ safety, including providing fall protection when they worked on any unprotected work area at a height of six feet or more above the level below.

It is alleged that beginning in early 2015, Schirripa and his employees poured the concrete floors, from the bottom up, pouring one floor approximately every other week, after the steel subcontractor installed the steel deck and a wire cable fence at the perimeter of the work area, around steel supporting columns, as fall protection. On several locations on the third, fourth and fifth floors, Schirripa saw that the wire cable fence installed by the steel subcontractor was set in several feet from the edge, leaving an unprotected work surface between the fence and the edge. Schirripa knew that his workers would have to step outside the protective fence to install wire mesh prior to the concrete pour and to smooth the concrete once poured. Yet Schirripa did not provide harnesses or other fall protection to his employees.

It is further alleged that several days prior to April 1, 2015, Schirripa visited the worksite and saw that the wire cable fence was positioned several feet in from the edge, along one entire side of the floor. Nevertheless, on April 1, 2015, Schirripa directed that his workers pour and smooth the concrete. This required the workers to step outside the wire cable fence without harnesses.

Furthermore, according to the indictment, Schirripa failed to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for his employees, submitting a false certificate of coverage to the NYC DOB when renewing his general contractor’s license on March 30, 2015 for Metrotech Development Corp. He never had workers’ compensation coverage for J & M Metro General Contracting Corp. employees.

Finally, it is alleged, Schirripa failed to contribute to the Unemployment Insurance Fund, as required by law, for the second quarter of 2015.

The case was investigated by Detective Investigators Jennifer Burgos and Ismael Zayas, under the supervision of Supervising Detective Investigator Robert Addonizio, and the overall supervision of Deputy Chief Edwin Murphy, of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau. Financial Investigator Deborah Wey assisted in the investigation, under the supervision of Chief Financial Investigator Michael Campi.

Also assisting in the investigation were Deputy Chief Investigator Robert Miller, under the supervision of Gregory Cho, Inspector General and Jay Flaherty, Associate Commissioner, of the New York City Department of Investigation; the Manhattan Area Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and the New York City Police Department’s 60th Precinct Detective Squad.

The District Attorney thanked the New York City Department of Buildings, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, the New York State Department of Labor, the New York State Insurance Fund, and American International Group (AIG) for their assistance.

The case is being prosecuted by Meredith McGowan, Deputy Chief of the Labor Frauds Unit, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Pamela Murray Bilfield, under the supervision of Felice Sontupe, Chief of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the Investigations Division, and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.

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An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt

 

Brooklyn Fugitive Indicted for Murder, Burglary of Manhattan Chef

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

June 2, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Brooklyn Fugitive Indicted for Murder, Burglary of Manhattan Chef

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Brooklyn teenager, Jahkeem Scott, 18, of Cypress Hills, has been indicted for second-degree murder, arson, burglary and related charges for the January stabbing death of a popular Manhattan chef inside his Cypress Hills home. The defendant was caught in Virginia after four months on the run.

According the investigation, on the morning of January 22, 2016, the defendant entered the victim’s home while the victim, Ramolu Heras, 61, was home asleep after working as a nighttime chef at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village. The defendant, allegedly there to commit a burglary, stabbed the victim multiple times in the body, neck and head, and then stole numerous items from the home, according to the investigation. He then allegedly set fire to the apartment to cover up the burglary and murder.

“This defendant broke into a home to burglarize it and ended up brutally stabbing a hardworking family man who was sleeping after an evening of work,” said District Attorney Thompson. “Once a fugitive of justice, he’s now back in Brooklyn, where he will face justice for killing an innocent man.”

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Read the full press release here.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Brooklyn Fugitive Indicted for Murder, Burglary of Manhattan Chef

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 2, 2016

 

Brooklyn Fugitive Indicted for Murder, Burglary of Manhattan Chef

Victim was Stabbed Multiple Times; Defendant Set Fire to Cover Up Crime

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Brooklyn teenager has been indicted on charges of murder, burglary and arson stemming from the January stabbing death of a popular Manhattan chef inside his home in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. The defendant was apprehended in Virginia after four months on the run.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant broke into a home to burglarize it and ended up brutally stabbing a hardworking family man who was sleeping after an evening of work. Once a fugitive of justice, he’s now back in Brooklyn, where he will face justice for killing an innocent man.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Jahkeem Scott, 18, of 222 Logan Street, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree arson, first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary. He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count with which he is charged. His next court date is August 12, 2016.

The District Attorney said that, according the investigation, on January 22, 2016 at approximately 9 a.m., the defendant allegedly entered the victim’s home through a window on the first floor. The victim, Romulo Heras, 61, was a nighttime chef at Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich Village in Manhattan and was home asleep at the time.

The defendant, allegedly intent on committing a burglary, stabbed the victim multiple times about the body, neck and head. Prior to leaving the apartment, the defendant stole numerous items from the victim’s home, according to the investigation.

Surveillance video footage from inside the apartment building depicts the defendant carrying a laundry bag of items as he leaves the victim’s building, the investigation revealed.

To cover up the burglary and resulting murder, the defendant allegedly set fire to Heras’ apartment. The victim’s body was discovered by members of the Fire Department of New York responding to the fire.

The defendant fled to Virginia after the crime and was apprehended in May 2016.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Phyllis Chu of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Kenneth Taub, Chief.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Brooklyn Man Convicted for Fatally Stabbing Rival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 2, 2016

 

Brooklyn Man Convicted for Fatally Stabbing Rival

Victim and Defendant Both Dated the Same Woman

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 23-year-old man has been convicted of manslaughter for stabbing to death a 22-year-old man in East New York during an altercation stemming from the allegation that they were both dating the same woman. The defendant and the woman fled to Mexico after the stabbing.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This is just another tragic instance of young men caught up in senseless violence, which cost one man his life and now the other his freedom.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Christian Morales, 23, of East New York, Brooklyn. He was today convicted of first-degree manslaughter following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog. The defendant will be sentenced on June 23, 2016, at which time he faces up to 25 years in prison.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on June 18, 2014 at about 4 p.m., the victim, Carlos Santos, and two friends were on Liberty Avenue in East New York when Santos confronted the defendant, wanting to fight him; the defendant took out a knife and swung at Santos, hitting him in the right eye and continued to swing the knife while Santos tried to protect his face, hitting him in the arms and hands. Santos ran away into a nearby store and the defendant ran in after him, stabbing him once in the right chest. Santos’ friends were able to get the defendant off of him and the defendant and his girlfriend walked away. Santos was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

The defendant and his girlfriend fled to Mexico. He was arrested in Mexico and extradited following an investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sara Kurtzberg of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Kenneth Taub, Chief.

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Brooklyn District Attorney Announces Partnership With First Baptist Church of Crown Heights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Announces Partnership With
First Baptist Church of Crown Heights

Community Discussion Exploring Collateral Consequences of Incarceration

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, together with Reverend Daryl G. Bloodsaw, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, today announced an important community discussion to offer hope and help to families struggling while a loved one is incarcerated and to individuals having difficulty adjusting to life after prison.

District Attorney Thompson said, “If we are going to improve the quality of life for all Brooklyn residents, then we have to help families heal. The pursuit of justice and public safety should include appropriate counseling, employment and education resources to formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. I am committed to community partnerships with houses of worship and others that are focused on re-entry.”

Rev. Bloodsaw said, “It is essential for the faith-based community to open their doors as a place of refuge for both families and individuals during and after an incarcerative stay; if we, the Church, are not prepared to do this then we should be prepared to explain why not.”

As part of its new Rephidim Ministry, the church is hosting a forum entitled “Rebuilding Families and Individuals: Collateral Consequences of Incarceration,” which will launch a series of events designed to provide information and support to families and individuals. The ministry is named Rephidim after a place where Moses struck a rock to give the children of Israel water, i.e., a place of refuge.

The first forum will take place on Thursday, June 9, 2016, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, 450 Eastern Parkway, near Rogers Avenue. It will be followed by a series of workshops in July and additional activities over the course of the next year.

The inaugural session will offer information regarding family healing, improving the quality of life and educational, vocational and housing resources. There will also be a panel discussion.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Vanda Seward, Coordinator and Program Administrator of the Kings County Re-entry Task Force, which is a joint venture between the District Attorney’s office and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Panelists include Sheila Rule, Founder, Think Outside the Cell Foundation; William Whitaker, Associate Human Rights Specialist, New York City Commission on Human Rights; Divine Pryor, Executive Director, Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions; and Rev. Lesley Fitzgerald Shannon, Pastor, St. Paul Community Baptist Church.

For further information related to this initiative, please call First Baptist Church of Crown Heights at 718-778-1200 or email ReEntry@BrooklynDA.org.

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Organized Crime Member, Five Others Indicted for Alleged $13 Million Gambling Operation

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

May 27, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Organized Crime Member, Five Others Indicted
for Alleged $13 Million Gambling Operation

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson yesterday announced that six men from Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island have been charged in a 37-count indictment for running an illegal Internet gambling operation that took over $13 million in bets on various professional and collegiate sporting events and wired payments to an off-shore location.

According to the indictment, between September 1, 2015 and March 15, 2016, the defendants—allegedly led by Eugene (“Boopsie”) Castelle, 56, of Staten Island, a reputed soldier in the Lucchese crime family—used the website www.stakestake.com to accept $13,200,000 in bets on professional and collegiate sporting events, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer and horse racing.

The day-to-day management of the operation was allegedly handled by Anthony Grecco, 62, of Howard Beach, Queens, who managed the four remaining defendants and also made regular payments to the website’s off-shore “wireroom” in Costa Rica. In a separate indictment, Grecco has been charged with running a loansharking operation for allegedly lending money to three individuals while not being authorized to do so and charging interest rates exceeding 25%.

District Attorney Thompson said, “These defendants are charged with running a lucrative gambling ring that took in millions of dollars in bets and stretched all the way to Costa Rica. We’ve now shut down this illegal enterprise that was controlled by organized crime and will fully prosecute those who have been indicted.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.