Archive for the tag 'arrests'

Photo by Ariela B.

The offices of Grigory Shyknevsky, D.D.S., at 2523 Ocean Avenue, where one of the accused worked. (Photo by Ariela B.)

First phony lawyers, now phony dentists.

Authorities arrested four people for pretending to be dentists and practicing on patients out of two Sheepshead Bay area clinics.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed felony charges against Konstantin Shtrambrand, Ilya Zolotar, Sergey Tolokolnikov and Hakob Gahnapetyan for practicing dentistry without a license. They face up to four years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors say that Shtrambrand, 43, Zolotar, 48, and Tolokolnikov, 54, saw patients at J.S. Atlantic Dental at 1707 Avenue P.

Gahnapetyan, 44, worked out of the dental offices of Grigory Shyknevsky, D.D.S., at 2523 Ocean Avenue.

The first clinic is owned by Joseph Grigory Shyknevsky, the son of the owner of the second clinic. Both are also being investigated, although no charges have been filed.

The sham practices came to light after the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit dispatched undercover investigators to the clinics. There they spotted each of the defendants wearing scrubs and performing dental work. Zolotar was seen drilling a patient’s tooth, and the other three were overheard doling out medical advice.

Schneiderman blasted the alleged frauds for putting unsuspecting patients at serious risk.

“New Yorkers deserve to have confidence that the people providing them healthcare are licensed professionals,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Plain and simple: there is one set of rules for everyone and my office will not tolerate those who seek to skirt the rules, including in the medical profession.”

The August 28 bust, in which the clinics were raided by authorities, comes just weeks after FBI agents raided a Brighton Beach law office. In that bust, a man allegedly had stolen the identity of a retired lawyer and fraudulently represented clients in at least 11 court cases.

Source: Angelo Viscoso

Source: Angelo Viscoso

A would-be burglar had to be rescued by police and firefighters and then hospitalized after his failed heist at il Fornetto Restaurant left him trapped in an air duct overnight.

Williams (Source: Angelo Viscoso)

Williams (Source: Angelo Viscoso)

Lorenzo Williams, 30, of Coney Island, was cuffed and packed into an FDNY ambulance after authorities removed him from the air duct, booking him with burglary. Cops were called to the 2902 Emmons Avenue restaurant around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, after workers said they heard cries for help coming from the ceiling.

It began with banging, said owner Angelo Viscoso. The restaurant’s manager sent staffers up to the roof, where they found a large hole cut into the vent, and they at first though a possum had found its way in.

“After a few minutes the banging intensified and they started to hear a faint cry for help. At this point they called 911 immediately. When the police came they verified that someone was stuck in the vent and had to call the fire department to cut open the duct on the roof to extract the man out,” said Viscoso.

Apparently, the perp was stuck overnight. The restaurant’s porter said he had heard faint banging noises the night before but couldn’t pinpoint the source. Damages to the roof are expected to exceed $3,000.

Williams was taken to Lutheran Medical Center for minor injuries.

“There were no visual injuries but I guess he had a head rush being stuck upside down until they got him out,” said Viscoso.

The rescue took about an hour, according to the FDNY.

Il Fornetto was playing host to a bridal shower during the cacophonous rescue operation. Viscoso said the party-goers made the most of it.

“The women from the shower were taking pictures with the firemen and police. I heard they cuffed the bride to be,” he said.

The hole in the air duct Williams used to attempt the break-in. (Source: Angelo Viscoso)

The hole in the air duct Williams used to attempt the break-in. (Source: Angelo Viscoso)

One Prospect Park West sits at the entrance to Prospect Park (Photo by Mary Bakija)

A Medicaid fraud bust at a Park Slope adult day care center resulted in the arrest today of residents of Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach and Sea Gate, one of whom is a member of Sheepshead Bay’s Community Board 15.

The three local defendants worked at Northern Manor Adult Day Health Care Program at One Prospect Park West. They are accused of falsifying medical records to bilk the Medicaid program out of more than $1 million. The center’s operators are also accused of hiring unqualified individuals to provide services.

The bust followed a long-term investigation by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which has been probing adult day health care centers for potential abuses.

The attorney general’s office set up covert stings, sending healthy, vibrant seniors to the facility as undercover informants for the attorney general. They say their secret cameras recorded Larisa Rumynik, 48, of Brighton Beach, and Valentina Shapran, 51, of Sea Gate, falsifying medical admission forms to ensure the healthy patients would qualify for the programs.

The third local defendant, Liliya Kostyuk, 58, of Sheepshead Bay, is accused of providing social work services and psychological assessments that she was not qualified to perform, the attorney general’s office said.

Kostyuk is also a member of Community Board 15, a government body comprised of 50 unpaid community members appointed at the request of City Council members. The Boards are responsible for advising city and state agencies on planning decisions. According to Chairperson Theresa Scavo, Kostyuk has been on the Board for at least six years and is an appointee of former Councilman Michael Nelson. She did not hold any leadership posts on the Board.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” said Scavo on hearing the news of Kostyuk’s arrest. “Liliya? I’m speechless. she’s always seemed so quiet. I guess you can never judge.”

Each of the three defendants face up to four years in state prison if found guilty. The program’s director, Gelena Deverman, 35, of New Jersey, was charged with grand larceny for causing Medicaid to pay more than $1 million in phony claims. She faces 25 years in prison.

Northern Manor’s parent company, Northern Manor Multicare Center based in Nanuet, New York, in a separate civil settlement, admitted that it operated without a qualified social worker from mid-2010 to 2011. They also confessed to routinely admitting more registrants than it was certified to take.

The parent company agreed to pay a $6.5 million civil settlement in the case and to shut down the Brooklyn center.

“Today’s charges detail yet another example of egregious, despicable abuse of public resources for personal gain, sending the message that criminal behavior will be met with the full force of the law,” said Schneiderman in a press release. “Employees of this program will never again be able to steal from taxpayers and deprive vulnerable New Yorkers of the care they deserve.”

Adult day cares are surging in popularity across New York, seen as a less costly alternative to nursing homes. Such facilities are licensed by the state to provide medical and psychosocial care to seniors who are unable to care for themselves, and are paid approximately 65 percent of the rate paid to a nursing home that provides room and board.

However, the lack of oversight has seen a spike in fraud, with some centers offering gifts, kickbacks and incentives for recruiting potential Medicaid recipients.

Both the state legislature and City Council have sought reforms to limit abuse.

Law office of the phony Shlomo Dickerman (Source: Google Maps)

Law office of the phony Shlomo Dickerman (Source: Google Maps)

Authorities are still unsure of the true identity of the man they claim stole a lawyer’s name and set up a phony law firm in Brighton Beach, but they believe he’s a disbarred lawyer with a criminal history.

The man who went by Shlomo Dickerman, or Stephen G. Dickerman, is believed to actually be Steven H. Dickman, a Long Island lawyer who lost his license and was convicted of grand larceny, according to the Daily News.

The unknown man was arraigned on charges of identity theft and making fraudulent statements on Thursday. He was denied bail after the judge agreed that his identity was too uncertain to cut loose.

The New York Times reports:

The confusion over the defendant’s identity continued at a mind-bending arraignment Thursday, where the defendant continued to insist he was Stephen G. Dickerman. Not even the man’s fiancée, a retired public-school teacher, was certain of his true identity, a prosecutor, Lan Nguyen, said.

… At the arraignment, the judge read the charges against the defendant, saying his first and last name were unknown. Jan A. Rostal, a lawyer for the defendant, then spoke up. “I can clarify that the name of my client is Stephen G. Dickerman,” she said.

Ms. Nguyen, the prosecutor, pointed out that when the defendant was arrested, he had a New York State driver’s license in the name of Steven H. Dickman. That man, she said, “appears to be a disbarred attorney with a criminal history”: two convictions on grand larceny charges, of which one resulted in a three-year prison sentence.

“The government has really no idea who the defendant is at this point,” Ms. Nguyen said, adding that she was awaiting the results of a fingerprint analysis to see if the man was indeed Steven Dickman.

Ms. Rostal said the birth date her client had given to court officers, June 1942, did not match the one on the Steven Dickman driver’s license, February 1945.

The alleged fraudster obtained his phony identity by renewing the real Stephen G. Dickerman’s expired attorney registration, altering his address. The real Dickerman appears to have retired after 40 years, and Shlomo used his registration to represent clients he booked in his Brighton 11th Street office.

Apparently, he did a good enough job to fool other lawyers into thinking he was the real deal, even if not entirely capable.

“He did not appear, necessarily, to be a good lawyer; he didn’t appear to be a nonlawyer,” David S. Stone of Stone & Magnanini, who dealt with Shlomo last year, told the Times.

Correction (12:34 p.m): The suspected identity of the alleged fraudster is Steven H. Dickman, not Steven H. Dickerman as a previous version of this article erroneously stated. It has been corrected.

Law office of the phony Shlomo Dickerman (Source: Google Maps)

Law office of the phony Shlomo Dickerman (Source: Google Maps)

Authorities cuffed a man who they say stole a lawyer’s identity, set up a phony law firm in Brighton Beach, and represented clients in at least 11 court cases.

According to FBI investigators, a man claiming to be “Shlomo G. Dickerman” solicited clients through his 128 Brighton 11th Street office for approximately four years, despite that the would-be lawyer held no license to practice law or any law degree.

The accused, whose actual identity is still unknown to investigators according to the arrest affadavit, obtained the credentials of an actual lawyer named Stephen G. Dickerman.

The real Dickerman had allowed his New York attorney registration, which must be renewed every two years, to expire in 2008.

The following year, a man claiming to be Dickerman showed up at the registration office in Manhattan asking to renew the registration. He was shown a copy of the delinquent notice sent to the real Dickerman – which shared his name, birth date, address, Social Security number, the law school he attended and other private information.

Using a section of the form to update the information, the phony Dickerman changed his first name to Shlomo, claiming it was his Hebrew name, and entered a new home and business address. After paying a $350 registration fee, he went on his way as a registered attorney, and continued to renew the registration every two years.

The con artist then went on to represent clients, including a pair of undercover agents who recorded a meeting with him as recently as July 29. The phony Dickerman asked the pair for a $10,000 retainer, in addition to his $400-an-hour fee, before generously knocking it down to just $5,000.

They also recorded a court appearance on July 15, in which the accused man claimed to be the lawyer whose identity he duped.

FBI agents raided the office earlier this week, seizing computers, files and other documents belonging to the so-called Dickerman. The other lawyers at the same office are not suspected of wrongdoing and appear to be unaffiliated with the accused man, except for having rented space to him.

Robbery photo 2

Cops say this is Malique Young

The NYPD announced the arrest of 18-year-old Malique Young yesterday evening, the second and final suspect wanted for the shocking assault and robbery of an 18-year-old woman in Midwood on Sunday.

Young, of Flatlands, is charged with robbery in the second degree. His alleged accomplice, Tyler Hoppin, 18, was busted Wednesday night and charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of stolen property.

Hoppin and Young are accused of following an 18-year-old woman into her Avenue M and East 18th Street apartment building. The video shows the woman enter the elevator, followed by two men who abruptly drag her into the hallway by her hair and begin pummeling her with their fists before making off with her bag. They then tossed the bag into bushes outside of the building.

In the video, the man believed to be Young is the first to grab the woman, and the two knock her to the ground. Young holds her down while the man believed to be Hoppin begins punching her repeatedly. As the woman continues to struggle, it does appear that Young kicks and punches the woman.

It is not yet clear why the cops have hit Young with a lesser charge.

Tyler Hoppin

Tyler Hoppin (Source: Instagram)

Councilman Chaim Deutsch praised the police for the quick capture of the suspects, and said the incident highlights the role clear surveillance footage can play in crime fighting. He sent the following statement:

I commend Deputy Inspector Richard DiBlasio and the NYPD’s 70th precinct for their dedication and commitment in the apprehension of the second suspect in the July 27th assault in Midwood. The timely arrest of the two culprits in this vicious crime is also due in part to the existence of clear, quality surveillance footage that was obtained of the attack. Security cameras are becoming increasingly significant in the policing and safety of our neighborhoods, as is demonstrated again in this most recent crime. I will be reaching out to Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson to share my concerns and I am confident that he will prosecute the two perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.

Following an aggressive police search that included requests for help from the public and Councilman Chaim Deutsch’s offer of $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of two individuals wanted in the alleged assault and robbery of an 18-year-old in her Midwood apartment Sunday evening, the NYPD announced last night one arrest has been made in regards to the crime that was caught on surveillance tape.

Tyler Hoppin

Tyler Hoppin, 18, of Canarsie, was arrested and charged with robbery, assault, and criminal possession of stolen property, police said.

According to police, the two suspects followed the victim into her apartment building near Avenue M and East 18th Street around 9:40 p.m. Sunday. The suspects were shown on the surveillance tape pulling the woman from the elevator, after which police said they allegedly punched and kicked her and stole her purse.

Tyler Hoppin

We tracked down Hoppin’s instagram photos, which feature many a selfie and photos of food.

Tyler Hoppin

While police have not yet announced a second arrest, Deutsch, who commended the NYPD for nabbing Hoppin, said it will hopefully be imminent.

“Under the command of Inspector Richard DiBlasio, the 70th Precinct worked swiftly and diligently to apprehend one of the perpetrators of this despicable crime,” Deutsch said in a statement to the press. “I am confident that another arrest is forthcoming. I thank the hardworking officers who continue to keep our streets safe and our children protected.”

Video via the NYPD. Photos via Instagram.

Source: .v1ctor Casale/Flickr

A good Samaritan caught a man accused of rape, and a beating, on Sunday on the shores of Coney Island beach.

Fuat Sarieminli suffered a fractured cheekbone, several loose teeth and seven staples in his head after he grabbed a 20-year-old man attempting to flee the area as a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her.

The woman reportedly cried “rape” at approximately 11:30 p.m., pointing at the suspect.

“Her pants were ripped and her underwear was sticking out, and she was screaming, ‘Help me!’ ” Sarieminli told the Post. (Sarieminli was not identified by the paper, but a Daily News report names him).

Sarieminli continued to tell the paper that the suspect was approaching the woman, so he intervened asking “What happened, bro?” The man said he didn’t do anything and turned to flee, when Sarieminli grabbed him.

As the two struggled, the suspect pulled off his belt and wrapped it around one hand and began pummeling Sarieminli in the face.

The suspect was arrested by police at West 20th Street and Surf Avenue.

He was charged with second- and third-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the Daily News. The woman did not press charges for rape, but prosecutors are still investigating.

accident

A tow truck driver allegedly slammed into five parked cars on Ocean Avenue and Avenue Y before fleeing the scene early Thursday morning, according to CBS News.

Police told the outlet that they tracked down the 26-year-old driver, Igor Lyakhovetsky, arresting him with charges of unauthorized use of a vehicle and leaving the scene. Lyakhovetsky allegedly ditched the truck and fled on foot.

The truck appears to have been owned by Dependable Towing, although the company denies that it or its vehicles were part of the incident.

The station reports:

[CBS] stopped by the address for the towing company to ask about the driver and the company’s reaction to the story. A man who identified himself as the manager said CBS 2 had the wrong company and that his company had nothing to do with it.

However, all phone numbers trailed back the address. The phone number that was seen on the tow truck itself was prominently displayed on the wall outside the business, and a dispatcher who picked up the phone when [CBS] called said that the business was indeed “Dependable” and confirmed the address.

The damage to some of the vehicles was extensive, according to CBS. The car above was involved in the incident and is now parked on a nearby street, with both its rear and front ends crushed by the tow truck.

Source: .v1ctor Casale/Flickr

A tattoo declaring his innocence did little to stop a Brooklyn jury from convicting a man for a 2012 sexual assault in Brighton Beach.

Giorgi Shevardenidze, 27, was found guilty of attacking a woman at the Brighton Beach subway station on July 28, 2012, with prosecutors alleging he grabbed his victim around the neck and mouth from behind, and choked, smothered and groped her.

Before his trial, though, he sought to clear his name with some permanent ink. He appeared in court with a tattoo of a bell on his right hand, with the word’s “I am not guilty” beneath it.

Jurors didn’t take the hint, finding him guilty of aggravated sexual assault after approximately four hours of deliberations. The crime carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Shevardenidze targeted his 22-year-old victim, riding eight stops past his destination to follow her. But Shevardenidze’s lawyers said it was all just a big misunderstanding. Shevardenidze was drunk, took a stumble, and landed on a butt, they argued.

The Daily News reports:

“He targeted this young lady,” prosecutor Olatokunbo Olaniyan told jurors during closing arguments. “He saw that blond hair, he saw that dress and he saw a crime of opportunity.”

Taking the stand Monday, the defendant contended he was bombed after a night of heavy drinking and that he “lost my balance and… accidentally put a hand on her butt.”

He said he got off at that stop to buy weed.

His lawyers argued the woman suffered no injuries and “overreacted” to an innocent encounter.

The New York Post adds that Shevardenidze was arrested on May 19, charged with misdemeanor assault for punching and biting a man in Midwood.

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