Brooklyn DA’s “Operation Bankroll” Leads to Four Arrests & Indictments in 18 Month Fraud Scheme Investigation

According to Brooklyn (Kings County) District Attorney Charles Hynes, Robert Delvicario, Lennox Johnson, Shanda Bruce and Thermine Remy, and three corporations, Adonis Abstract LLC, LBW Corporation, and Robo Capital Securities, Inc., have all been indicted by a Grand Jury for crimes including, Enterprise Corruption, Mortgage Fraud, Grand Larceny, Identity Theft, and Falsifying Business Records. Prosecutors began the investigation into the defendants after the unsolved 2008 murders of attorney Mark Schwartz and his wife Christina Petrowski.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, it is alleged that “between 2006 and 2009, the defendants participated in a series of financial and real estate scams in order to steal and launder money from the clients of Schwartz’ law firm, as well as clients of Adonis Abstract.” The total amount of these alleged frauds exceeded $1 million.

Prosecutors claim that the defendants, including Mr. Delvicario, a one time federal agent, recruited friends to act as “straw buyers.” At the behest of the defendants, these individuals would allegedly make fraudulent real estate transactions. Once money was obtained in a transaction, prosecutors claim that the defendants laundered the proceeds by fraudulently opening up bank accounts with stolen identities. Ultimately, prosecutors contend that the defendants would exhaust these accounts and open up new ones by perpetrating a new round of identity theft related offenses. Additionally, the money obtained in these fraudulent transactions may have been used to make personal investments. To that end, law enforcement officials state that a straw buyer involved in a mortgage deal ultimately had the money forwarded to Mr. Delvicario who then used those mortgage proceeds to pay off his own home loan.

If convicted of Enterprise Corruption, the defendants face up to 25 years in state prison. Although the press release does not indicate the degree of the other offenses, it is likely that the Money Laundering charge is the same level offense as the Enterprise Corruption. Depending on whether or not the Grand Larceny was aggregated into one amount, the defendants would face up to 25 years in prison or multiple counts up to 15 years in prison. Identity Theft in the First Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree are punishable by up to 7 and 4 years respectively. Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal defense firm. Founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors, Crotty Saland PC represents clients throughout the New York City region.

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