Process Skyfall: AG James Announces Convictions In $3 Million Dollar Loan Fraud And Cash Laundering Scheme
Kenneth Martinez and Metropolitan EnterprisesConvicted for Stealing Over $455,000 in fees
<>Three Defendants and Three businesses Plead Guilty to Felony Chargesand Must Pay an overall total of $1.5 Million in Restitution and Judgments
Kenneth Martinez, Owner of Metropolitan Enterprises, Sentenced to Three to Nine Years in jail
NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today announced the felony beliefs of three people and three companies, due to an investigation that is three-year fraudulent methods when you look at the scaffolding industry carried out by the Attorney General’s workplace, with the Port Authority of brand new York and nj-new jersey, the latest York state dept. Of Taxation and Finance (DTF), in addition to new york School Construction Authority. The joint research — dubbed “Operation Skyfall” — unveiled that the six co-defendants involved with a two-year scheme to defraud banking institutions away from vast amounts, after which laundered the profits through numerous organizations.
“We are all devoted to uncovering and businesses that are prosecuting have actually defrauded their state and many banking institutions away from millions, ” said ny Attorney General Letitia James. “These fraudsters must now need to pay right right back taken funds and stop their unlawful operations. Allow this be described as a concept to each and every individual and company that individuals will never ever stop fighting against people who try to defraud New Yorkers. ”
In Suffolk County Court, Kenneth G. Martinez (51, of Lawrence), Shai Sellam a/k/a Sean Green (45, of Woodmere), and Hayim Jacob Barkol f/k/a Kadir Barkol (39, of Brooklyn), with their particular organizations, Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc., New Route asking Inc., and Lifting Up Management LLC had been convicted of felonies for participating in a dollar that is three-million fraudulence and cash laundering scheme between October 2013 and April 2015.
The defendants and their corporations were ordered to pay a total of $1.5 million in restitution and judgments to financial institutions and to New York State as part of their guilty pleas. Defendant Martinez was sentenced to nine years in State Prison on the Albany taxation situation; he could be planned become sentenced to a term that is concurrent of to nine years in state jail regarding the Suffolk loan fraudulence instance on October 17, 2019.
“The result in this situation — for which a small business as well as its owner did not spend $455,000 in product product product sales taxation gathered from customers — should act as a warning to all the people who blatantly disregard our income tax laws, ” stated New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “We will work with Attorney General James and all sorts of degrees of police force to split straight down with this types of fraudulence, which deprives New Yorkers of income necessary for vital solutions and programs inside their communities. ”
“I wish to thank the brand new York State Attorney General for accepting our recommendation of the matter and their joint work in investigating and prosecuting the 3 people and associated three companies, ” stated Port Authority Inspector General (IG) Michael Nestor. “The Port Authority IG commenced this research in relation to allegations that Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc., a scaffolding and business that is hoisting its President, Kenneth Martinez might not be a legitimate Minority Business Enterprise business performing just work at the planet Trade Center web site. Our investigation that is joint with Attorney General’s Office, uncovered proof of unlawful task with two other people and organizations. This investigation uncovered a cash laundering scheme and other crimes that are related. The Port Authority IG stays committed in preventing similar conduct. ”
“This sentencing shows the significance of police force partnerships in rooting out corruption by contractors in this town, ” said new york Department of research (DOI) Commissioner Margaret Garnett. “This types of income tax fraudulence, where in actuality the defendants pocketed a huge selection of 1000s of dollars in product product sales and make use of fees which should have now been remitted to New York State, diminishes profits towards the government and erodes the capability of federal government to serve the people fully. DOI had been very happy to join with all the State Attorney General’s workplace and our police partners with this research, which revealed and stopped these unlawful schemes. ”
Metropolitan had been considered among the scaffolding that is largest and hoisting contractors in brand brand New York State between October 2013 and September 2015. Public records reveal that in 2015, Metropolitan had been a subcontractor for different work done regarding the George Washington Bridge as well as on the Oculus venture in the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. The defendants used unpaid tax monies and the proceeds of fraudulently paid loans to keep the business afloat during this time. By the period of the ny Attorney General’s very first indictment in 2016, Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc. Sought out of company.
In accordance with the felony issue as well as other papers, the defendants perpetrated their loan fraudulence scheme by publishing invoices that are fake a phantom deposit check purporting to market scaffolding and hoisting equipment from 1 of Barkol’s entities to Metropolitan. The truth is, the purported equipment either merely would not occur or existed but had been owned by Metropolitan or currently encumbered by another standard bank.
To advertise and conceal their loan fraudulence scheme, the defendants laundered the taken funds through numerous business records. Barkol would cut checks from their business account back into Metropolitan within a question of times of getting the fraudulently acquired funds, totaling very nearly the total number of the amount of money gotten through the standard bank. Monies had been then relocated between Metropolitan’s reports and utilized to pay for debts owed with other banking institutions, to pay for negative balances, and also to spend present and payroll that is outstanding union dues.
A class C felony; Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony; and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony in July 2019, the six defendants were arraigned in the First District Court of Suffolk County on a felony complaint charging Money Laundering in the Second Degree. On August 7, 2019, the defendants joined the next pleas that are guilty Suffolk County Court:
- Kenneth Martinez pleaded responsible to cash Laundering into the Degree that is second class C felony;
- Shai Sellam pleaded accountable to cash Laundering when you look at the Third Degree, a course D felony;
- Hayim Jacob Barkol pleaded responsible to Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree, a course E felony;
- Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc. Pleaded bad to Grand Larceny within the Degree that is second course C felony;
- New Route asking Inc. Pleaded responsible to cash Laundering into the Third Degree, a course D felony; and
- Raising Up Management LLC pleaded responsible to Money Laundering when you look at the Degree that is second course C felony.
Martinez is anticipated to be sentenced to a of three to nine years in State Prison on October 17, 2019. Sellam faces as much as two to six years in State Prison whenever sentenced on 12, 2020 august. Barkol is anticipated to be sentenced to a phrase of five years of probation for their part when you look at the scheme when sentenced on October 17, 2019. All the entities is anticipated to be sentenced to a three-year discharge that is conditional sentenced on October 17, 2019. Included in their sentences, the defendants must spend restitution and perform confessions of judgments with respect to the banking institutions, totaling $1.5 million.
Besides the loan fraudulence scheme, in June 2017, defendants Martinez and Metropolitan joined bad pleas to Grand Larceny into the Degree that is second in County Court, associated with their theft of product product sales and make use of fees. Yesterday, Martinez had been sentenced to nine years in State best payday loans Prison. Also, both defendants performed confessions of judgments for the advantage of the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, more than $455,000.
These instances are now being prosecuted included in ny Attorney General’s Combatting Upstate Financial Frauds and Schemes (CUFFS) Initiative, led by Director Philip V. Apruzzese — an Assistant Attorney General into the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The CUFFS Initiative ended up being implemented by Attorney General James in order to help regional police force and District Attorney’s workplaces within the investigation and prosecution of complex monetary crimes and cash laundering instances.
Assistant Attorney General Apruzzese is prosecuting these full situations, with all the help of Legal Support Analysts Kira M. Russom and Supervising Analyst Paul Strocko. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph D’Arrigo, and it is the main Criminal Division, led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Josй Maldonado.
The Attorney General’s research had been carried out by Investigator Mark J. Terra, beneath the direction of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes. Forensic accounting ended up being carried out by Chief Auditor Edward J. Keegan and Principal Auditor Investigator Jason Blair for the Forensic Audit area.
The Attorney General’s Office thanks DTF’s Criminal Investigations Division, DOI’s Office associated with Inspector General when it comes to NYC School Construction Authority, and, particularly, Investigator Charles Shevlin and Assistant Inspector General Nicholas Scicutella, along with the Port Authority of NY/NJ – workplace associated with the Inspector General, and, especially, Investigator Louis Matirko, with their priceless support about this research.