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Local Matters

Monday
Dec102018

Woman Attempted To Rent Home She Didn't Own On Craig's List

 

Wanted for Grand Larceny

Release Date: December 10, 2018

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Suffolk County Police Seventh Squad detectives are seeking the public’s help to locate a woman wanted for Grand Larceny in a rental scam.

Jessica Przyjemski, 22, attempted to rent a home that she had no authority to rent. Przyjemski listed a home for rent on Craig’s List and collected $1000 as a down payment on the home, located at 27 Somerset Road in Rocky Point.

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS, texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637) or by email at www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.  

 Authority: D/Sgt. Dean Joseph  CC# 18-696855  Seventh Squad Detectives  CW# 18-507/EB

Monday
Dec102018

Northport Man Sentenced In $8.9 Million Mortgage Loan Fraud

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, Matthew T. Voss, formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Long Island mortgage lender Vanguard Funding, LLC (Vanguard), was sentenced by United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein to 24 months’ imprisonment to be followed by three years’ supervised release.  The amount of restitution will be ordered by the Court at a later date.  In February 2018, Voss pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with the diversion of more than $8.9 million of warehouse loans that Vanguard had fraudulently obtained purportedly to fund home mortgages and mortgage refinancing.  

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Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Maria T. Vullo, Superintendent, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), announced the sentence.

“With today’s sentence, Matthew Voss has been held accountable for using his extensive knowledge of the mortgage industry to deceive banks that trusted and relied upon him as a business partner and divert money for his personal use,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who commit fraud to advance their own financial interests at the expense of businesses and residents of our community.”

“A compromised banking system threatens economic stability and the safety of the mortgage industry, which puts communities and the American institution of homeownership at risk,” stated FBI Assistant-Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “Thanks to the dedicated work of our law enforcement partners, today’s sentence proves that those who use their expertise to deceive others for their own financial gain will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

“As New York’s financial services regulator, DFS is proud to have worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement partners to hold this defendant accountable for his actions,” stated DFS Superintendent Vullo.  “DFS will continue to combat fraud and bring criminals to justice in order to safeguard the industry and protect consumers.”

Between August 2015 and March 2017, Voss and his co-conspirators at Vanguard engaged in a scheme whereby they obtained more than $8.9 million in short-term loans, referred to as warehouse loans, by falsely representing that the loan proceeds would fund specific mortgages, or refinance specific mortgages, for Vanguard clients.  Instead, Voss and his co-conspirators diverted the funds to pay personal expenses and compensation, and to pay off loans they had previously obtained through false loan applications. 

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Whitman G.S. Knapp and Elizabeth Losey Macchiaverna are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

MATTHEW T. VOSS
Age: 43
Northport, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-027 (SJF)

Monday
Dec102018

E. Setauket Man Pleads Guilty To Multi-Million Dollar Fraud/Ponzi Scheme

Defendant Targeted and Defrauded Dozens of Elderly Investors from 2000 to 2018 

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Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Steven Pagartanis pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for orchestrating a Ponzi scheme over the course of 18 years.  

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI), announced the charges.

“Pagartanis perpetrated his fraud scheme against elderly investors who could least afford to lose their life savings,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “Protecting older Americans from financial predators like the defendant is a priority of the Department of Justice.”

As admitted at his guilty plea and as detailed in court documents, from January 2000 to March 2018, Pagartanis, a formerly licensed financial advisor and affiliate of a registered broker-dealer, solicited elderly victims to invest in real estate-related investments, including those affiliated with publicly traded entities, a Canadian company and an international hotel conglomerate.  Pagartanis promised the victims that their principal would be secure and earn a fixed return, which he typically claimed to be between 4.5 to 8 percent annually.  At Pagartanis’s direction, the victims wrote checks payable to an entity secretly controlled by Pagartanis.  Pagartanis utilized a network of bank accounts to launder the stolen funds, which he used to pay personal expenses, buy luxury items and make the guaranteed “interest” or “dividend” payments to other victims.  Pagartanis created fictitious account statements reflecting ownership interests in the purported investments to induce investment and conceal the scheme.  In all, the victims invested over $13 million and sustained actual losses of over $9 million.  Many lost substantial portions of their life savings as a result of the scheme.

When sentenced, Pagartanis faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment.  The SEC has filed a civil case against Pagartanis, which was stayed pending resolution of the criminal case. 

The government’s criminal case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Artie McConnell is in charge of the prosecution. 

The Defendant:

STEVEN PAGARTANIS
Age:  58
East Setauket, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-374 (DRH)

Monday
Dec102018

Man Dies In Farmingville House Fire

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad and Arson Section detectives are investigating a house fire that killed a man in Farmingville last night.

Sixth Precinct police officers, firefighters from Farmingville, Ronkonkoma, Selden, Holtsville, Medford and North Patchogue, as well as the Brookhaven Town Fire Marshal, responded to 30 Elder Ave. at 11:32 p.m. after a 911 caller reported a fire at the location.

 

After the fire was extinguished, the body of an adult male was located inside. The man, a resident of the home, was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner and his name is being withheld pending identification by the medical examiner. 

Arson Section detectives believe the cause of the fire to be non-criminal.

 

Wednesday
Dec052018

Man Arrested On Nesconset Highway For Leaving Children In Car Unattended

 

Suffolk County Police today arrested an Islip man for leaving his two children unattended in a vehicle in Lake Grove.

Fourth Precinct officers responded to 2233 Nesconset Highway after a 911 caller reported two children left unattended in a parked 2012 Honda Pilot, which was not running and unlocked. When officers arrived, they determined the children, a 4-year-old girl and 1-year old boy, had been left in the vehicle by their father, Christopher Evans, for approximately 20 minutes while he attended a doctor’s appointment. The temperature was approximately 35 degrees at the time.

Evans, 41, was charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He will be held overnight at the Fourth Precinct and arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on December 6.

The children were released to a family member. 

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Tuesday
Dec042018

Police Dog Involved In Capturing Three Men Arrested For Armed Robbery 

 

Suffolk County Police today arrested three men following an armed robbery at a Medford convenience store.

Zeeshan Masood entered 7-Eleven, located at 2725 Route 112, and robbed an employee of cash at gunpoint at approximately 1:40 a.m. Masood fled the store and got into a waiting Jeep Grand Cherokee, occupied by Walter Tinsley and Timothy Terry.

A Highway Patrol officer observed the Jeep run a red light at the intersection of Route 112 and Express Drive South as it was fleeing the scene and pulled over the vehicle. Masood fled the vehicle on foot and Terry and Tinsley were taken into custody. 

Approximately two hours later, police received a 911 call from a cameraman at the scene of the robbery reporting a man, possibly matching the description of the suspect, approached him, asking for a ride. Officers responded and Masood, who was riding a bicycle at the time, fled into the woods. Aviation Section officers located Masood and guided Canine Section officers to his location.

Masood failed to respond to officer’s commands and was bit by a police dog. He was transported to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson for treatment.

During a search of the Jeep, a loaded 40 caliber handgun was recovered.

Masood, Tinsley and Terry were charged with Robbery 1st Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd Degree and Criminal Use of a Firearm 1st Degree. Masood was also charged with Resisting Arrest, Harassment 2nd Degree and an outstanding warrant.

Masood, 19, of Coram, Tinsley, 18, of Coram, and Terry, 18, of  Coram, will be held at the Sixth Precinct and arraigned on December 5 at First District Court in Central Islip.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

Sunday
Dec022018

Man Arrested At Commack Motor Inn After Robbing Huntington Gas Station

 

Suffolk County Police last night arrested a man who robbed a Huntington Station gas station at gunpoint earlier in the day.

Jesse Huber entered BP gas station, located at 272 East Jericho Turnpike, Huntington Station, on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at approximately 1:30 p.m. Huber displayed a handgun and demanded cash from an employee at the counter. The employee complied and Huber fled the scene.

Following an investigation by Second Squad detectives, Huber was arrested at the Commack Motor Inn, located at 2231 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, at approximately 10:40 p.m.

Huber, 40, of Riverhead, was charged with Robbery 1st Degree.  He is being held overnight at the Second Precinct and is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on December 2.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

Friday
Nov302018

Sachem Football Coach Arrested For Allegedly Stealing Funds From District

DA SINI: FORMER SACHEM HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING FUNDS FROM SCHOOL DISTRICT

(CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the arrest of a former Sachem North High School physical education teacher and football coach for allegedly filing false claims of time worked to steal funds from the school district.

“Not only was the defendant allegedly stealing funds from the school district by falsifying his time sheets, he was also telling other individuals that compensation for that very same extracurricular work was not available,” District Attorney Sini said. “He used his position to take money from the school and to deny others of their rightful pay. My office will not tolerate any public servants stealing taxpayer funds and taking advantage of our residents.”

David Falco, 52, of Center Moriches, who also served as Chairman of the Physical Education Department at Sachem North High School, is charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a D felony; Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, an E felony; and Official Misconduct, an A misdemeanor.

Between Dec. 11, 2017, and June 12, 2018, Falco allegedly filed eight teacher claim forms to Sachem Central School District to receive compensation for supervising the high school’s north weight room. An investigation by the District Attorney’s Office revealed evidence that Falco was not working during the times for which he received compensation.

As a result of the allegedly false teacher claim forms filed, Falco received $5,755.68 from the school district.

The investigation also revealed evidence that Falco, while allegedly fraudulently receiving compensation for weight room supervision, represented to other individuals working in the weight room that compensation was not available.

Falco was arraigned today in Suffolk County District Court and was released on his own recognizance.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of two and one-third to seven years in prison.

Falco is due back in court on Jan. 31, 2019. He is represented by John Scott Prudenti.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Laura de Oliveira, of the Public Integrity Bureau.

Friday
Nov302018

Man Stole Bat Bag And Six Bats From DICK'S Sporting Goods

Wanted for Commack Grand Larceny

Release Date: November 30, 2018

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers and Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify and locate the man who stole merchandise from a Commack store in August. 

A man stole a bat bag and six baseball bats from DICK’S Sporting Goods, located at 6070 Jericho Turnpike, on August 28 between 4:30 p.m. and 4:50 p.m. The merchandise was valued at $1,759. 

Suffolk County Crime Stoppers offers a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about these incidents can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS, texting “SCPD” and your message to “CRIMES” (274637) or by email at www.tipsubmit.com. All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.  

D/Sgt. James Scimone CC# 18-500478  Second Squad Detectives CW# 18-414/RD

Thursday
Nov292018

CDC Report Indicates An Increase In Suicide And Overdose Deaths In 2017

CDC National Center for Health Statiscs report

In 2017, a total of 2,813,503 resident deaths were registered in the United States—69,255 more deaths than in 2016. From 2016 to 2017, the age-adjusted death rate for the total population increased 0.4%, and life expectancy at birth decreased 0.1 year. Age-specific death rates between 2016 and 2017 increased for age groups 25–34, 35–44, and 85 and over, and decreased for age group 45–54. Age-adjusted death rates increased for non-Hispanic white males and non-Hispanic white females and decreased for non-Hispanic black females. 

Overdose deaths reached a new high in 2017, topping 70,000, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7%, the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports. Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC director, called the trend tragic and troubling. “Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” he wrote in a statement.”  Susan Scutti, CNN

Life expectancy for females was consistently higher than it was for males. In 2017, the difference in life expectancy between females and males increased 0.1 year from 4.9 years in 2016 to 5.0 years in 2017. 

In 2017, life expectancy at birth was 78.6 years for the total U.S. population—a decrease from 78.7 years in 2016 (Figure 1). For males, life expectancy changed from 76.2 in 2016 to 76.1 in 2017. For females, life expectancy remained the same at 81.1. 

In 2017, life expectancy at age 65 for the total population was 19.5 years, an increase of 0.1 year from 2016. Life expectancy at age 65 was 20.6 years for females and 18.1 years for males, both unchanged from 2016. The difference in life expectancy at age 65 between females and males was 2.5 years, unchanged from 2016. 

From 2016 to 2017, age-adjusted death rates increased for 7 of 10 leading causes of death and decreased for 1 (Figure 4 ). The rate increased 4.2% for unintentional injuries, 0.7% for chronic lower respiratory diseases, 0.8% for stroke, 2.3% for Alzheimer disease, 2.4% for diabetes, 5.9% for influenza and pneumonia, and 3.7% for suicide. The rate decreased 2.1% for cancer. Rates for heart disease and kidney disease did not change significantly. 

The 10 leading causes of death in 2017 remained the same as in 2016. Age-adjusted death rates increased for seven leading causes and decreased for one. Life expectancy at birth decreased 0.1 year from 78.7 years in 2016 to 78.6 in 2017, largely because of increases in mortality from unintentional injuries, suicide, diabetes, and influenza and pneumonia, with unintentional injuries making the largest contribution.