Kenneth Martinez and Metropolitan EnterprisesConvicted for Stealing Over $455,000 in Taxes
<>Three Defendants and Three organizations 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 businesses, because of an investigation that is three-year fraudulent methods into the scaffolding industry carried out by the Attorney General’s workplace, with the Port Authority of the latest York and nj, this new York state dept. Of Taxation and Finance (DTF), and also the 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 companies.
“We are all devoted to uncovering and businesses that are prosecuting have actually defrauded their state and various banking institutions away from millions, ” said ny Attorney General Letitia James. “These fraudsters must now must spend right right back taken funds and stop their operations that are illegal. Allow this be a class to each and every individual and company that individuals shall never ever stop fighting against people who make an effort 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., brand brand brand New Route asking Inc., and Lifting Up Management LLC had been convicted of felonies for doing a dollar that is three-million fraudulence and cash laundering scheme between October 2013 and April 2015.
As an element of their accountable pleas, the defendants and their corporations were bought to pay for an overall total of $1.5 million in restitution and judgments to finance institutions and also to New York State. Defendant Martinez ended up being sentenced to nine years in State Prison regarding the Albany income tax situation; he could be planned become sentenced up to a term that is concurrent of to nine years in state jail from the Suffolk loan fraudulence situation on October 17, 2019.
“The result in this situation — by which a small business and its own owner did not spend $455,000 in sales taxation gathered from customers — should act as a caution to any or all people who blatantly disregard our income tax laws, ” stated ny State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt. “We will work with Attorney General James and all sorts of quantities of police force to split straight straight down about this variety of fraudulence, which deprives New Yorkers of income required for vital solutions and programs within their communities. ”
“i would really like to thank the brand new York State Attorney General for accepting our recommendation of the matter and their effort that is joint in and prosecuting the 3 individuals and associated three organizations, ” stated Port Authority Inspector General (IG) Michael Nestor. “The Port Authority IG commenced this investigation based on allegations that Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc., a scaffolding and business that is hoisting its President, Kenneth Martinez is almost certainly not a legitimate Minority Business Enterprise business conducting just work at the entire world Trade Center web site. Our investigation that is joint with Attorney General’s workplace, uncovered proof of unlawful task with two other people and businesses. This investigation uncovered a money laundering scheme and other relevant crimes. The Port Authority IG stays committed in preventing comparable conduct. ”
“This sentencing shows the necessity of police force partnerships in rooting out corruption by contractors in this town, ” said new york Department of research (DOI) Commissioner Margaret Garnett. “This style of income tax fraudulence, where in actuality the defendants pocketed a huge selection of thousands in product product sales and employ fees which should have already been remitted to New York State, diminishes profits towards the federal federal government and erodes the power of federal government to serve the people fully. DOI had been happy to join using the State Attorney General’s workplace and our police force lovers with this research, which exposed and stopped these unlawful schemes. ”
Metropolitan had been considered among the scaffolding that is largest and hoisting contractors in 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 in the George Washington Bridge as well as on the Oculus venture during the global World Trade Center Transportation Hub. During this period, the defendants utilized unpaid taxation monies additionally the profits of fraudulently paid loans to help keep the company afloat. Because of the period of the nyc Attorney General’s indictment that is first 2016, Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc. Sought out of company.
In line with the felony grievance along with other papers, the defendants perpetrated their loan fraudulence scheme by publishing fake invoices and a phantom deposit check purporting to market scaffolding and hoisting equipment in one of Barkol’s entities to Metropolitan. In fact, the purported equipment either merely failed to occur or existed but had been owned by Metropolitan or currently encumbered by another institution that is financial.
To market and conceal their loan fraud scheme, the defendants laundered the taken funds through numerous business records. Barkol would cut checks from their business account returning to Metropolitan within a question of times of getting the fraudulently acquired funds, totaling very nearly the total level 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, also to pay present and payroll that is outstanding union dues.
In July 2019, the six defendants had been arraigned in the 1st District Court of Suffolk County for a felony problem recharging cash Laundering within the Second Degree, a course C felony; Grand Larceny within the 2nd Degree, a course C felony; and Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree, a course E felony. On August 7, 2019, the defendants joined the next pleas that are guilty Suffolk County Court:
- Kenneth Martinez pleaded guilty to cash Laundering within the 2nd visit the website Degree, a course C felony;
- Shai Sellam pleaded bad to cash Laundering when you look at the Third Degree, a course D felony;
- Hayim Jacob Barkol pleaded accountable to Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree, a course E felony;
- Metropolitan Enterprises, Inc. Pleaded responsible to Grand Larceny into the 2nd Degree, a course C felony;
- New Route asking Inc. Pleaded bad to cash Laundering when you look at the Third Degree, a course D felony; and
- Raising Up Management LLC pleaded accountable to cash Laundering when you look at the 2nd Degree, a 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 August 12, 2020. 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 conditional release whenever 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.
Aside from the loan fraudulence scheme, in June 2017, defendants Martinez and Metropolitan joined bad pleas to Grand Larceny when you look at the Degree that is second in County Court, pertaining to their theft of product sales and make use of fees. Yesterday, Martinez ended up being sentenced to nine years in State Prison. Also, both defendants performed confessions of judgments for the main benefit of the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, more than $455,000.
These situations are now being prosecuted as an element of ny Attorney General’s Combatting Upstate Financial Frauds and Schemes (CUFFS) Initiative, led by Director Philip V. Apruzzese — an Assistant Attorney General when you look at the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. The CUFFS Initiative had been implemented by Attorney General James so that you can help law that is local and District Attorney’s workplaces when you look at the research and prosecution of complex monetary crimes and cash laundering instances.
Assistant Attorney General Apruzzese is prosecuting these cases, using the support 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 guidance of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Oliver Pu-Folkes. Forensic accounting had been carried out by Chief Auditor Edward J. Keegan and Principal Auditor Investigator Jason Blair regarding the Forensic Audit part.
The Attorney General’s Office thanks DTF’s Criminal Investigations Division, DOI’s workplace for the Inspector General when it comes to NYC School Construction Authority, and, especially, Investigator Charles Shevlin and Assistant Inspector General Nicholas Scicutella, along with the Port Authority of NY/NJ – workplace regarding the Inspector General, and, especially, Investigator Louis Matirko, with their assistance that is invaluable on research.