Archive for the tag 'kings county district attorney'

Kristina Zelinsky (Source: Facebook.com)

Kristina Zelinsky (Source: Facebook.com)

Prosecutors today announced the indictment of Kristina Zelinsky, a 34-year-old resident of Brighton Beach’s Oceana condominium development, for allegedly scamming $25,000 in Medicaid benefits while living a life of luxury.

According to the indictment, Zelinsky lied on forms to skim off a measly $25,000 over 10 years while she lived in a luxurious penthouse condo, went on shopping sprees for top fashion items, drove expensive foreign cars, and enjoyed pricey trips to Las Vegas.

Zelinsky's mugshot (Source: Brooklyn DA)

Zelinsky’s mugshot (Source: Brooklyn DA)

Prosecutors say Zelinsky filed for Medicaid in 2003, claiming that she had no income and that her husband only made $22,000 annually. Successful in enrolling in the program, she continued to file annually for the next 10 years, always listing income amounts that maintained Medicaid benefits for herself, her husband and their two children.

But while she was crying poverty to the government, she was living the high life, according to the indictment. Zelinsky purchased one of Oceana’s glitzy penthouse apartments in 2007 with a mortgage of $850,000. Condos in the development at the time were selling for as much as $2 million.

“When a person such as Ms. Zelinsky lives in luxury and owns vehicles that most people only see in movies, New York State taxpayers should not finance her health care,” said James C. Cox, the Medicaid Inspector General. “This indictment should serve as a warning for others who are involved in—or considering—schemes that defraud the Medicaid system, to reconsider their actions.”

Zelinsky was also far from dependent on her husband for cash, according to investigators. She owns a business, Kristy Billing and Collection, and had several personal bank accounts whose deposits far exceeded the maximum amount permitted for Medicaid recipients.

In 2008, for example, she made personal deposits averaging  $4,600 a month, and in 2009 made average monthly deposits of $10,600. Meanwhile, Medicaid limits during those years were $2,650 and $2757, respectively.

Additionally, investigators say credit card records for Zelinsky show that while she was enrolled in Medicaid, she shopped at Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, and Las Vegas-area hotels and restaurants. Investigators also uncovered luxury cars including an Aston Martin, Porsche and a BMW in Zelinksy’s name.

The Brooklyn District Attorney has charged Zelinksy with welfare fraud in the third degree, grand larceny in the third degree, and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. She faces up to seven years in prison.

Source: downtown_boston_2004 / Flickr

Source: downtown_boston_2004 / Flickr

District Attorney Charles Hynes is teaming up with the NYPD and City Councilman Domenic Recchia for a gun buyback event tomorrow, July 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Coney Island Gospel Assembly Church, 2828 Neptune Avenue between West 28th Street and West 29th Street, directly across from Kaiser Park.

According to the press release from the DA’s office:

The gun buyback initiative is aimed at taking illegal, functioning guns off the streets by offering a $200 reward for each eligible weapon surrendered, no questions asked. You will receive a $200 bank card for operable handguns and assault rifles and a $20 bank card for operable rifles and shotguns. The program was launched in Brooklyn in July 2008. A total of 2,714 guns have been collected through the gun buyback program.

Although the reasons may be obvious to some, it may not be obvious to others: The guns must be placed in a plastic or paper bag or a box. This is not Wyoming or Kentucky (or any other open carry state for that matter). Also, the DA’s Office also warns that, if you are transporting the gun by car, the gun must be transported in the trunk of the car. You may surrender as many guns as you wish, but you will only receive payment for up to three guns. (Ed. — There’s incentive for ya.)

In other words, don’t show up waving your guns in the air, yelling, “Now where’s my $200 bank card?!” at the top of your lungs.

To learn more, contact the DA’s office at (718) 250-2300.

Dr. Davie’s office in Manhattan Beach. (Source: Google Maps)

Just days after it was revealed that CBS is planning a reality show following Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, the borough’s top prosecutor announced the indictment of a Manhattan Beach plastic surgeon accused of manslaughter by liposuction – a case that will be featured prominently in the television series.

Hynes’ office announced on Thursday the indictment of Dr. Oleg Davie, 51, charging him for recklessly performing liposuction on a patient he knew previously had a heart transplant, causing her death during the operation.

From the DA’s press release announcing the indictment:

According to the indictment, Isel Pineda had received heart transplant surgery on February 20, 2004 at NY Presbyterian Hospital. As a result of that surgery, she had a distinctive eight-inch scar in the center of her chest. In April 2012, Pineda, 51, came to Dr. Davie’s office on Park Avenue in Manhattan for a consultation and filled out forms indicating her medical history. On May 10, 2012, Dr. Davie performed the liposuction procedure on Pineda at his office at 133A West End Avenue in the Manhattan Beach section of Brooklyn. The indictment charges that Dr. Davie knew that Pineda was a former heart transplant patient yet still performed the operation on her. The District Attorney’s Office’s investigation determined that Dr. Davie was reckless and negligent to perform elective surgery on heart transplant patients. In addition, the anti-rejection drugs that Ms. Pineda was taking suppressed her immune system, putting her at risk for infection. After the procedure, Pineda went into cardiac arrest and collapsed in Dr. Davie’s office. Paramedics tried to revive her as she was rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where she died.

District Attorney Hynes said, “Any medical professional would clearly know if a patient has previously had heart transplant surgery because of the obvious scar on the chest. And doctors are well aware of the fact that they are discouraged from performing liposuction and similar procedures on patients with heart disease. To further hide his illegal activity, Dr. Davie falsified forms, concealing his knowledge of Ms. Pineda’s medical history. It is shameful that a medical professional would disregard his patient’s safety, putting her in serious danger. He will be held accountable for his actions.”

The DA also claimes that Davie falsified a copy of Pineda’s medical history forms, altering it to omit a mention of the heart transplant or that she had ever been hospitalized before the surgery. However, investigators say they found a copy of the paperwork from the consultation in Pineda’s purse the day she died, and on it she had disclosed the heart transplant and anti-rejection medications.

Davie had a long history of risking patient safety, according to prosecutors. They say the State Department of Health in 2011 had already restricted his practice to cosmetic medicine only, due to past negligence. He had been charged by the Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct with negligence, mischaracterizing cosmetic treatments, and filing false reports. In December 2012, after Pineda’s death, he surrendered his license to practice medicine.

Davie is charged with manslaughter in the second degree, criminally negligent homicide and several other charges. He faces up to 34 years in prison.

The case will be one of the central storylines of the upcoming CBS miniseries, Brooklyn D.A., which has already drawn fire from other contenders for the office in this year’s election.

John Hockenjos, an MTA worker, was charged with reckless endangerment for allegedly try to run over a police officer.

Hockenjos (Source: NYDailyNews.com)

Diego Palacios, the police officer kicked off the force after his bogus arrest of a Sheepshead Bay man, may have been sentenced to four days in prison – but he served only one night.

New York Post picked up on our exclusive story last week – without giving credit to Sheepshead Bites – noting that Palacios pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of four days in prison and his resignation from the NYPD. The paper learned that Palacios had to spend only a single night behind bars, though.

Palacios was imprisoned after the Thursday afternoon hearing, in which he admitted to filing a false police report that claimed Sheepshead Bay resident John Hockenjos attempted to run the officer over with his car. That four-day sentence meant that Palacios would have been a free man again on Sunday.

But the sweetheart deal for a man who nearly put an innocent man in jail for seven years got even sweeter for Palacios: state law requires that inmates scheduled for discharge on a weekend should be freed on Friday.

Palacios spent the night in jail, and was freed the next day.

Hockenjos is fuming over the short prison sentence, and afraid for his safety.

“He’s a free man to do whatever he wants,” Hockenjos told Sheepshead Bites last week. “And I have to be in pure fear that there could be retribution. I should not be in this position.”

Video that saved Hockenjos from heading to prison after being falsely accused by Palacios of attempting to run him down in his car.

John Hockenjos, an MTA worker, was charged with reckless endangerment for allegedly try to run over a police officer.

Hockenjos in front of the courthouse. (Source: NYDailyNews.com)

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A cop who falsely claimed that a Sheepshead Bay man tried to run him down in a car was sentenced to four days in prison – only one day more than his victim was locked up based on the officer’s bogus charges.

Officer Diego Palacios pleaded guilty at a hearing on Thursday in Brooklyn Supreme Court in exchange for a sentence of four days and his resignation from the New York City Police Department, the District Attorney’s office told Sheepshead Bites.

The three-day sentence has Palacios’s victim, East 23rd Street resident John Hockenjos, furious – and afraid for his safety.

“This individual spends four days in prison, with no probation, and he gets out of jail today or tomorrow and he’s a free man to do whatever he wants,” Hockenjos told Sheepshead Bites. “And I have to be in pure fear that there could be retribution. I should not be in this position; there should at least be probation.”

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Janna Doheny, after surrendering to authorities. (Source: Brooklyn DA)

Janna Doheny, the owner of multiple units inside Brighton Beach’s posh Oceana condominium development, is charged with bilking more than $29,000 from Medicaid over the course of eight years, according to a new indictment revealed by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

Doheny, 43, filed falsified documents for Medicaid, claiming her only source of income for her and her daughter was just $1,550 a month from her job at an adult entertainment establishment in Queens, and that her savings and investments totaled less than $5,000.

But investigators claim that Doheny wasn’t as cash strapped as her Medicaid application stated. They say Doheny lived the high life, making pricey purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret and Amazon, as well as getting professional glamour shots in skimpy swimwear while vacationing at a luxury resort in Arizona – a discovery they found by perusing her profile on a Russian-language social networking site.

“Lying to the system to receive Medicaid is a theft of taxpayer dollars and will not be tolerated,” said Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar, whose agency assisted in the investigation. “At HRA, we maintain the integrity of public assistance programs by providing benefits to those who are eligible and investigating those who ignore the rules.”

Investigators also found that Doheny not only purchased several condo units at Oceana between 2002 and 2010 – where price tags range from $500,000 to $2 million – but that she also owned property in Bay Ridge, Long Beach and South Florida.

The complaint goes on to state that Doheny deposited more than $100,000 annually into several bank accounts in her own name and the name of her business, Oceana Ventures, as well as a pile of cash totaling $170,000 in a safe deposit box on Long Island.

The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, along with the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the Human Resources Administration, started to take a closer look at Doheny’s holdings after being tipped off to the Oceana purchases.

The following is a press release from the offices of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes:

Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes has received $103,000 in public protection funds from Brooklyn State Senator Martin J. Golden that will provide support the District Attorney’s existing alternative to incarceration programs for at-risk youths and to victims of domestic violence cases pending in Brooklyn’s Domestic Violence Court parts.

“Brooklyn is the only county in New York State with two separate Integrated Domestic Violence Courts,” said DA Hynes.  “Thanks to this generous grant, for the first time, we will have one dedicated social worker who will not only assist victims in the two courtrooms, but will also form the bridge connecting the court parts to the Brooklyn Family Justice Center.”

“I am proud to have secured more than $100,000 in public protection funds to support programs offered by Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes,” Senator Golden said.  “I am confident that through his office, this funding will be used to create better opportunities for youth and family justice in Brooklyn.”

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Former Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman and current Assemblyman Vito Lopez, in happier times. Photo by Aaron Short

“Politics are a labyrinth without a clue.” – John Adams

BETWEEN THE LINES: More than a year ago, Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned after he admitted taking part in virtual trysts with other women over the course of several years. The stupidity of that incident — and numerous others that preceded it — has apparently not penetrated the minds of shameless politicians as to what constitutes inappropriate conduct.

For decades, from casting to corporate couches, men in positions of power have taken advantage of women in the workplace. Decades after feminism inspired equal rights for women and brought such matters to light, you’d think the sleazy, obnoxious “boys will be boys” mindset would have fizzled out, but the creepy practice still permeates our culture.

For what it’s worth, let’s call groping, womanizing and related acts the “Dirty Old Man Syndrome,” though age, clearly, has no bearing on the matter.

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Andrew Goodman (via NY Post)

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is demanding a tough sentencing of a confessed Midwood child molester a judge plans to put back on the streets just in time for the school season to start.

Cymbrowitz sent a letter to the judge overseeing the case of Andrew Goodman asking that he dole out a seven-year sentence during proceedings today to the admitted child sex offender instead of a rumored two-year sentence with time served – which would have Goodman back in the pol’s district by September.

Goodman pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation in June, and has been in jail for two years after failing to post a $1 million bail.

“When you impose punishment for Andrew Goodman’s unspeakable crimes, you have the opportunity to send a clear message not just to the defendant but to his victims, their families and the entire community,” Cymbrowitz wrote to the judge. “Your judgment can provide some degree of closure to this terrible episode, or it can leave a raw, open wound from which the victims may never heal. Your judgment can demonstrate an unshakable commitment to protect the rights of victims, especially the most vulnerable, or it can extend mercy to an offender whose heinous acts are, frankly, beyond our comprehension.”

The seven-year sentence was recommended by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

Goodman, 27, became the poster boy for child molestation in the Orthodox Jewish community after the New York Post published his name and photo when he was busted by the Brooklyn DA’s office in a three-year initiative called Kol Tzedek, Hebrew for “voice of justice.” The sweep netted 85 members of the community charged with molesting 117 predominantly male children over three years.

Goodman faced a 144-count indictment for molesting, filming and threatening young boys in the neighborhood. According to court documents reported by the New York Post last year, Goodman held booze-fueled parties in his home while screening child porn, and also “threatened the life” of a boy who reported him to authorities.

According to the Post, Goodman was caught on camera inviting teens into his home – after his indictment in 2010.

“Andrew Goodman’s victims aren’t yet free of the burden of his crimes. It seems just and reasonable that he shouldn’t be free anytime soon, either,” Cymbrowitz said.

Detective Kenneth Ayala (Source: NYPD)

Three of the four police officers shot and wounded during a gun battle inside a Nostrand Avenue apartment building in April will receive promotions today.

Detectives Kenneth Ayala and Michael Keenan and Officer Michael Granahan will receive the distinction at a ceremony at 1 Police Plaza, honored for their role in taking down a violent ex-con who held his pregnant girlfriend and 4-month-old son hostage in his barricaded apartment at 3301 Nostrand Avenue.

Ayala has been hailed as a hero for having helped save the lives of his fellow peacekeepers by protecting them with a bulletproof shield even after taking two shots to the leg.

Read more about the officers, and the courageous actions they took in April.

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