Man Convicted of Stealing Bedford-Stuyvesant Home by Forging Judge’s Signature

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Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

September 30, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Man Convicted of Stealing Bedford-Stuyvesant
Home by Forging Judge’s Signature

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 54-year-old man has been convicted of grand larceny, forgery and related charges for stealing a building in Bedford-Stuyvesant by forging a judge’s signature to claim possession of the house, which he then sold.

The District Attorney said that, according trial testimony, on January 6, 2015, the defendant, Joseph McCray, 54, of Niagara Falls, NY, filed a fraudulent court order purportedly signed by Brooklyn Civil Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Lewis, which effectively granted him ownership of 119 McDonough Street. Four months later, using the forged order, the defendant sold the building for $500,000, from which he received two checks totaling almost $250,000 (the rest of the funds were used to pay for outstanding liens on the property).

The forgery and sale followed more than a decade of legal actions by the defendant to assert ownership of the building, where he was a holdover tenant, but never paid rent. He had been evicted in September 2002, but continued to reside in the building — at various points in the ensuing years presenting himself as the landlord, collecting rent and filing fraudulent papers in Civil Court.

District Attorney Thompson said, “After spending years trying to game the court system, this defendant brazenly forged a judge’s signature in an attempt to steal the home of a long-standing Bedford-Stuyvesant resident. This case illustrates the commitment of my Real Estate Fraud Unit to protect Brooklyn homeowners and my continued determination to hold fraudsters accountable.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Killing His Former Lover’s Fiancé

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Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

September 29, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Killing His Former Lover’s Fiancé

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that Mikhail Chernyaev, 49, of Brighton Beach, was convicted of murder after admitting to killing the new boyfriend of his former lover in 2012. The defendant stabbed, suffocated and strangled the victim, then went to great lengths in a failed attempt to cover his tracks. He now faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, the victim, Charles Butler, 56, was a successful businessman from Florida who, in 2012, traveled frequently to his native New York City to spend time with his daughter. While here, Butler met the defendant’s former lover, Anna Lioznov; they started dating and were making plans to get married.

On September 18, 2012, during a visit of Butler’s to Lioznov’s apartment on Brighton 8th Street, surveillance cameras captured the defendant’s van pulling into her building’s garage after Lioznov had left the building. An hour and a half later, the defendant’s vehicle was seen leaving the garage and cell tower data tracked both the defendant’s and Butler’s phones to Port Jervis, NY.

That same day, the victim’s daughters received suspicious text messages in broken English from their father’s phone and Lioznov received a text message, purportedly from Butler, to the effect of, “Forget about me. I’m going back to Florida.”

The evidence further showed that on October 15, 2012, a fisherman outside Port Jervis, NY, discovered decomposed human remains. Using a sketch constructed from the skeleton, a single useable fingertip print and DNA analysis, the body was later identified as Butler.

District Attorney Thompson said, “A man senselessly lost his life out of sheer jealousy, leaving behind two grieving daughters and a young son. I would like to commend the dedicated prosecutors, police officers and forensic experts who solved this complicated case and helped hold a calculated killer accountable.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Murder in Death of Williamsburg Landlord During Botched Robbery and Kidnapping

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Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

September 27, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Murder in Death of Williamsburg Landlord
During Botched Robbery and Kidnapping

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson yesterday announced that a 29-year-old Brooklyn man has been convicted for his participation in the kidnapping and murder of Menachem Stark, 39, on January 2, 2014.

The District Attorney said that, on the night of January 2, 2014, Stark was approached and accosted on the street by the defendant, Kendel Felix, 29, of Crown Heights, and another individual as Stark left his office in Williamsburg, according to trial testimony and surveillance videos. After an extended physical struggle with those individuals, Stark was forced into a waiting vehicle and abducted from the location.

On the following afternoon, approximately 17 hours after the kidnapping, Stark’s body, which had been partially burned, was discovered by Nassau County Police in a garbage dumpster at a gas station located in Great Neck, Long Island.

According to trial testimony, including his own confession, the defendant did construction work for Stark and he and others suspected in the murder believed that Stark owed them money. They kidnapped him with the intention of robbing him, but Stark resisted and was killed when one of the kidnappers sat on his chest. They then drove out to Nassau County to dispose of the body, throwing it in a dumpster, throwing gasoline on it and setting it on fire.

The investigation into the other participants is ongoing.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant waited for Menachem Stark outside of his office and forcibly kidnapped him, killing him in the process. As a result, his wife and seven children were robbed of their husband and father. The jury has now held him accountable for his actions.”

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Read the full press release here.

Former East Williamsburg Assistant Principal Convicted of Raping Former Student

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

September 26, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Former East Williamsburg Assistant Principal Convicted of
Raping Former Student

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 47-year-old Queens man has been convicted of third-degree rape for abusing a former student at Progress High School for Professional Careers, in East Williamsburg, where he served as an assistant principal..

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, between June 17, 2009 and July 31, 2009, the victim—then a 17-year-old recent graduate of Progress High School—worked in the defendant’s school office during the 2009 summer school session. The defendant, William Abreu, began making inappropriate sexual advances to the teenager. Aware of the victim’s status as an undocumented immigrant, Abreu threatened to contact immigration authorities if she did not comply and then proceeded to grope and rape her. He further threatened immigration action if the victim did not continue to work for him.

Abreu was fired by the New York City Department of Education in November 2013.

District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant was an assistant principal who violated the trust of a vulnerable teenager when he coerced her to engage in an unwanted sex act using her immigration status as leverage. This young woman had the courage to speak out against this abuse. He’s now been held accountable for his deplorable actions.”

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Read the full press release here.

Williamsburg Man Convicted of Gang Assault

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Kenneth P. Thompson

District Attorney
Kings County

September 23, 2016

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Williamsburg Man Convicted of Gang Assault

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a 24-year-old man from Williamsburg, Brooklyn was convicted of gang assault and related charges for his role in the brutal beating of Taj Patterson, a young man who was walking in the street when he was set upon by over a dozen people.

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Mayer Herskovic, 24, of Williamsburg. He was convicted today of second-degree gang assault and related charges and faces 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on December 1, 2013, at about 4:40 a.m., Taj Patterson was walking on Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg when a man, later joined by other men, started to chase him. The victim ran, but the group, eventually comprising 15 to 20 men, caught up to him near the corner of Flushing Avenue and Spencer Street.

The victim was then punched, kicked, stomped and had his eye poked by members of the group, according to testimony. He suffered facial fractures, retinal damage and lost eyesight in his right eye.

In the course of the attack, the evidence showed, a sneaker worn by the victim was stripped off his foot and thrown onto the roof of an adjacent building. DNA recovered from that sneaker matches the defendant’s.

District Attorney Thompson said, “Today’s verdict is a testament to our determination to fully prosecute this case based on the evidence, which clearly connected this defendant to the crime. I hope that this outcome will bring a measure of comfort to Mr. Patterson and his family.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

Brooklyn DA Summer Internship – Program Mission

Program Mission

The intent of the Brooklyn DA Summer Internship Program is to bring students up close and personal with the criminal justice system, while educating them with hands-on experience. Through this program we look to foster positive perspectives on the legal and law enforcement community, as well as develop a sense of ownership over their education and future success. 

Level of Commitment and Expectation

The Brooklyn DA Summer Internship Program will help to build the student’s understanding that their academic preparations and achieving success within the workplace are interconnected. The program’s structure provides students with an assigned Assistant District Attorney, who will serve in the dual role of a mentor and a supervisor. Over the course of five weeks, interns will receive on-the-job training and build their knowledge of the workplace. With that in mind, we expect our interns to exhibit a level of professionalism consistent with the professional conduct standards required of all staff members at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

Areas of evaluation will include the following:

  • Attendance and Punctuality
  • Attitude and Willingness to Learn
  • Appearance and Overall Presence
  • Communication
  • Maturity and Professionalism

Brooklyn District Attorney Launches “Brooklyn DA Summer Internship” Program

Brooklyn District Attorney Launches
“Brooklyn DA Summer Internship” Program

The Brooklyn DA Summer Internship program is a joint partnership between the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the United Federation of Teachers. This program provides a uniquely competitive opportunity for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors attending school and/or residing in Brooklyn. We are currently accepting applications from students who meet the below eligibility criteria and show a strong interest in the criminal justice/public interest sector. Interns will receive a $150 weekly stipend and will be provided with Metro Cards. Selected interns will be assigned to a unit and will support the work of Assistant District Attorneys and other staff.

Intern Duties

  • Assist with legal research and analysis utilizing various sources such as the Internet, news articles, and legal periodicals.
  • Provide assistance to attorneys and staff at various phases of a matter including pretrial, conference, and/or trial.
  • Perform a variety of paralegal and/or clerical functions, as required.
  • Assist attorneys with case preparation, discovery, file maintenance, and organization of court documents.
  • Participate in workshops pertinent to different departments and trial zones.
  • Participate in judicial, legal, and law enforcement observational field trips.
  • Observe criminal trials and defendants get sentenced in court.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must reside in or attend school in Brooklyn.
  • Applicants must be either a high school sophomore, junior, or rising senior.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to the entire duration of the program (July 11, 2016 to August 12, 2016, Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM). 

Application Requirements

  • Most recent transcripts.
  • Updated one-page resume.
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation and evaluation forms including one from a teacher, coach, mentor, etc.
  • 300 word essay which must be typed (12 pt. font/double-spaced) and addresses the following two prompts:
  • Why are you interested in interning with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office?
  • What impact do you think it will have on your future endeavors both personally and professionally? 

Please note: This is a highly selective internship. Only 10 spots are available and selected candidates will be required to interview.

Completed documents should be emailed to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office at edprograms@brooklynda.org in pdf format, with the subject line: “Brooklyn DA Summer Internship Program”, no later than May 20, 2016.

Questions?

Contact Felicia Harris, 718-250-4873

arrow_blue Program Mission

pdf-icon Recommendation Request Form

 

DA Thompson Announces New Firearms Prosecution Unit

DA Thompson Announces New Firearms Prosecution Unit

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced on January 12, 2016 the creation of a new Firearms Prosecution Unit, part of New York City’s ‘Project Fast Track’—an initiative designed to swiftly and efficiently dispose of illegal gun cases.  The Unit will be headed by Assistant District Attorney Leslie Kahn.

At a press conference held at City Hall, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and other law enforcement officials joined DA Thompson to announce the new initiative and unit. “We stand here today because this is a very important initiative that is going to roll out,” DA Thompson said at Tuesday’s press conference. “Today, we are here to deal with those who bring guns into our communities and bring guns to our streets. With the announcement of this new gun part, we’re going to enhance our effort in Brooklyn with a new Firearms Prosecution Unit.

Project Fast Track includes an Expedited Firearms Court, a specialized court part for gun possession cases. The first implementation of the new court part will begin in Brooklyn and be overseen by Brooklyn Criminal Court Judge Suzanne Mondo and Acting Supreme Court Justice Cassandra Mullen. The part is expected to be added to courts in all five boroughs.

“An Expedited Firearms Court with dedicated judges will help us prosecute gun cases faster and more efficiently in Brooklyn. This is another tool for us in our commitment to fight gun violence and I’m confident that these important additional resources will help keep the public safe,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.


DA Thompson Announces New Firearms Prosecution Unit

Pride Month Events

PRIDE MONTH EVENTS

DA Thompson and the staff at the District Attorney’s Office marked Pride Month in June 2015 with a number of events. On June 13, the District Attorney, office employees and their family members marched down Fifth Avenue in Park Slope as part of the Brooklyn Pride Parade to express their support of gay rights.

And on June 28, DA Thompson hosted an LGBTQ Recognition Ceremony at Brooklyn Law School, honoring pioneers in the struggle towards justice and equality for members of that community. It was only fitting that a day later the United States Supreme Court historically ruled that the right to get married must be extended to all Americans, including same sex couples.

The District Attorney’s commitment to ensure the safety of all protected classes – including gays, lesbians and transgender individuals – is manifested each and every day with the work of the Hate Crimes Unit, which was created in 2014 as part of the Civil Rights Bureau . The Unit has investigated and prosecuted a number of crimes in which LGBTQ members were allegedly targeted and assaulted because of their orientation and enhanced charges have been brought in these serious cases.

NOTICE

NOTICE

If you feel you have been discriminated against in the delivery of program services based on age, color, race, creed, disability, gender (including gender identity), genetic predisposition or carrier status, marital status, domestic partnership status, military status, national origin (including alienage, ancestry and citizenship status), pregnancy, prior arrest or conviction, religion, sexual orientation, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offense or stalking, or because you are a person who is perceived to be within one of these categories or who has a known relationship or association with someone who is, or is perceived to be, within one of these categories, please contact the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office’s EEO Officer, Nancy Laxer at (718) 250-2068.

You may also bring your complaint to:

NEW YORK CITY COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
100 Gold Street, Suite 4608
New York, New York 10006
(212) 306-7500
www.nyc.gov/html/cchr/html/complaint/filing-complaint.shtml

 

NEW YORK STATE DIVISION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
163 West 125th Street, Room 401
New York, New York 10027
(212) 961-8650

or

55 Hanson Place, Room 1084
Brooklyn, New York 11217
(718) 722-2856
www.dhr.ny.gov/how-file-complaint

 

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
OFFICE OF FEDERAL CONTRACT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS
201 Varick Street, Room 750
New York, New York 10014
(646) 264-3170

 

NYS DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES
Office of Legal Services
80 South Swan Street
Albany, New York 12210
(800) 262-3257
www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/crimnet/mail.htm