Lakewood Ponzi Schemer Weinstein Denies New Carges - The Jewish Voice
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Monday, July 4, 2022

Lakewood Ponzi Schemer Weinstein Denies New Carges

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Children of the Moriah Day  School of Englewood New Jersey celebrate Israel Independence Day on May 5 2014  with flag waving ceremony. (Photo Credit Tzvi Allen Fishman)
Children of the Moriah Day School of Englewood New Jersey celebrate Israel Independence Day on May 5 2014 with flag waving ceremony. (Photo Credit Tzvi Allen Fishman)
Convicted Ponzi schemer Eliyahu Weinstein of Lakewood was back in federal court on Monday to deny new charges, as two others admitted participating in a fraudulent scheme with him.

Weinstein, 38, was arraigned before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano on charges contained in an indictment returned April 17 by a federal grand jury sitting in Newark.

Weinstein entered a plea of not guilty to the charges: one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud while on pretrial release and seven counts of transacting in criminal proceeds related to a series of fraudulent investment schemes.

Weinstein is serving a 22-year term in federal prison for running a real-estate scam that cost investors $200 million in a Ponzi scheme that spanned 2004 through August 2011.

The new charges allege that Weinstein and accomplices collected more than $8 million from investors on false pretenses, including bogus claims that they had special access to large blocks of Facebook shares prior to the company’s initial public offering in May 2012, when they never used any of the funds to purchase shares.

Two of the alleged accomplices, Alex Schleider, 48, of Lakewood, and Aaron Glucksman, 41, of Brooklyn, admitted their roles in one of the fraudulent schemes on Monday.

Schleider pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, admitting that he participated with Weinstein in a scheme to defraud two investors of the more than $2.8 million they paid to purchase a condominium complex in Florida.

The indictment against Weinstein alleged that he and his accomplices had convinced the investors to purchase the complex at a discounted price, saying that the property would be immediately flipped at a substantial profit. The victims wired a total of $2,830,000 in 2012 to an attorney trust account that was supposed to be held in escrow for the purchase, but authorities allege the defendants transferred most of the money out of the escrow account and gave about $1.8 million of it to the Facebook investors, falsely claiming it represented the return of principal and a profit on the Facebook shares that were never purchased.

Schleider faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced by Pisano on Sept. 18, authorities said. He also agreed to restitution and forfeiture of $612,300.

Glucksman pleaded guilty before Pisano to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and transacting in criminal proceeds. He admitted that with Weinstein and others, he defrauded investors out of $1.5 million. He admitted that he sent out emails to the investors, pretending to be an attorney who was handling the closing of the condominium transaction, and that he also falsely posed as the manager of the property.

Pisano sentenced Glucksman on Monday to four years and four months in prison and also ordered him to be on three years of supervised release when he finishes the prison term. Pisano also ordered Glucksman to forfeit $1.2 million he obtained in the fraud. The sentence will run partially concurrent to a three-year term recently imposed on Glucksman in federal court in New York for an unrelated crime.

Charges also are pending against Aaron Muschel, 64, of Brooklyn, who was charged along with Weinstein and Schleider in a criminal complaint last year.

If convicted of the new charges, Weinstein could face decades more in prison. Each of the wire fraud counts he faces carries up to 30 years in prison, while the conspiracy charge carries maximum term of 20 years in prison and the Charges of transacting in criminal proceeds each carry maximum terms of 10 years in prison.

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