A Brooklyn man who was allegedly part of a $5 million worldwide debit-card scam was arrested yesterday after leading law enforcement on a late-night chase through Sheepshead Bay.
Ivan Biltse was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court on charges he hacked into a payroll company called iWire, Inc.
Biltse and his partner, Yuriy Ryabinin, 31, who is already in custody, were caught on video surveillance making a dozen ATM withdrawals from a Washington Mutual bank in Brooklyn last September with debit cards stolen from iWire, court papers state.
Ryabinin is also accused of hacking into a Citibank server that processes ATMs and making hundreds of withdrawals within the last month totaling $750,000.
He and Biltse are alleged to be part of a worldwide scam that made 9,000 fraudulent ATM withdrawals, netting a total of $5 million, according to court documents.
Agents picked up Ryabinin at his home after monitoring a "carding" Web site where fraudsters buy and sell compromised bank account and credit card information.
Ryabinin allegedly posted a message on the site saying he had 50 stolen credit cards and that he wanted to know how to exploit them, court records state.
After his arrest, Ryabinin's wife told feds Biltse and her husband, who are cousins, would often leave the couple's home together carrying stacks of credit cards, then return with bundles of money which they would hide in the attic.
The elderly Brooklyn woman tossed to the sidewalk by her unlicensed dentist following a botched surgery has gone into a permanent vegetative state, her outraged family said yesterday.
"My stepmom is a vegetable now," George Raynor, 45, said of Colette Villemin. "The doctors just told us . . . she'll never be out of a vegetable state."
Villemin was a patient of Alexander Poperetchny, who kicked out the 71-year-old woman Tuesday after she fainted during surgery. She was found on the street later that night and rushed to Coney Island Hospital with brain and heart damage due to lack of oxygen.
"This woman was the healthiest member of our family," Raynor said. "She swam every day. The family knows we're not going to get our mom back. Her health is deteriorating and her brain functions are less and less each day."
Poperetchny, who admitted to cops that he has no license, is being held on $50,000 bail.
Investigators could be seen hauling out Poperetchny's office computer, patient files, X-ray films and other medical supplies yesterday.
A clerk at Liquor World, around the corner from the bogus dentist's practice, said he came in almost every day to buy a bottle of vodka.
Poperetchny's lawyer, Arkady Bukh, said his client called 911 when he saw Villemin unconscious, but "denies that he ever did surgery on that lady. My client absolutely denies any wrongdoing."
A pair of Brooklyn thugs, responsible for two vicious Russian-mob murders 15 years ago, finally went on trial yesterday after a triggerman turncoat flipped on his old partners in crime, prosecutors said.
The victims, Ukrainian-born Boris Roitman, 21, and Thien Diep, 24, a Vietnamese immigrant, were both tough guys with lots of shady underworld dealings - but they didn't deserve to die, said Assistant Brooklyn DA John Holmes.
The accused men, Ukrainian nationals Marat Krivoi and Vitaly Ivanitsky, listened stone-faced as the prosecution laid out its case, which relies heavily on the testimony of their onetime ally Pyoter Sarkisov.
Sarkisov agreed to testify as part of a plea deal with the feds, who busted him on charges that include credit-card fraud, money-laundering and art theft.
Krivoi - the son-in-law of Russian mob big shot Boris Nayfeld - is charged with ordering Roitman's murder because Krivoi believed his former pal was cooperating with cops.
On Aug. 26, 1992, he lured Roitman to an alley in Brighton Beach, where he ordered his then 17-year-old accomplice, Sarkisov, to shoot him - first in the heart, then the neck, Holmes said. Ivanitsky allegedly was the lookout.
"You proved yourself tonight," Krivoi allegedly told the teen.
A few weeks later, the trio struck again, when they decided to rob Diep, a pool hustler, Holmes said.
They allegedly ambushed him and shoved him into his car. After Ivanitsky beat him, they ordered Diep to take them to his home, where they assumed he had lots of cash. He refused because his family was there.
Krivoi shot him twice, then ordered Sarkisov to burn his car in Seaview Park with his body inside, prosecutors said. Diep - who begged for his life - left behind a baby son.
January 5, 2007 -- A ring of Russian mortgage fraudsters brokered $200 million in bogus home loans using phony buyers and identity theft, and pocketed more than $4 million in ill-gotten commissions, prosecutors charged yesterday.
The feds nabbed 18 brokers, appraisers and bank employees on fraud charges for ripping off approximately $3.5 million from banks by doctoring mortgage and home-equity loan applications on at least 1,000 properties around the city, New Jersey and elsewhere.
Operating out of AGA Capital, a Brooklyn mortgage brokerage firm, the ring paid straw buyers to pose as legitimate loan applicants, according to an indictment that charges a total of 23 people, some of whom were not yet in custody yesterday.
AGA Brokers Aleksander "Shorty" Lipkin, Igor "Ryzhiy" Mishelevich, Alex "Lyosha" Gorvits and several others are accused of supervising the scheme to submit fraudulent loan applications from 2004 to 2006.
The brokers pocketed between 2 percent and 4 percent in commissions on each sale - to the tune of more than $4 million, the feds alleged.
In some cases, the ring "stole the identities of persons who fit a certain financial profile and submitted loan applications on behalf of these persons without their knowledge," court papers said.
Profits were jacked-up by obtaining artificially inflated appraisals that made it seem as though the homes were worth more than their actual sales prices.
The "buyers" then defaulted on their loans, forcing banks and other lending institutions to either foreclose on the properties or re-purchase the homes at rock-bottom prices, according to the indictment.
The ring members pleaded not guilty to bank and wire fraud charges at an arraignment in Manhattan federal court and were released on bail.
Six people were busted yesterday for allegedly running a 10-year scheme in Brooklyn that filed bogus health claims and ripped off Medicaid by more than $47 million, authorities announced yesterday.
The fraud's accused mastermind, Alexander Levy, had the help of a handful of employees in allegedly setting up a string of clinics and ambulette stations, using unlicensed doctors to treat the sick and elderly -- and pocketing the cash.
Levy had been barred from any participation in the Medicaid program by the state Department of Health in 1997 for submitting false claims to Medicaid for unnecessary services and for care that was never actually given.
But he illegally circumvented the system and continued to make claims, going to great lengths to hide his involvement in the care facilities he ran, said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who filed a civil suit to go with the criminal charges.
"As we have done before, we 'followed the money,' which led us to today's serious charges," Cuomo said.
Levy is accused of squandering the cash on at least three luxury cars and a divorce settlement.
The people who allegedly ran his operation -- employees he paid as little as $35,000 a year -- made no cash from the scam, their attorneys said yesterday.
Levy, 54, from Staten Island, grinned as he was led to his arraignment in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn yesterday. He faces up to 25 years for grand larceny, health-care fraud and money laundering. He was held on $250,000 cash bail.
His alleged accomplices at the clinics -- Zona Castellano, 69, Aaron Bethea, 53, Leonid Sklyar, 30, Yelena Bogatyrov, 43, and Arthur Gutman, 42 -- were also charged with grand larceny and fraud.
Prosecutors claim Levy operated ANR Advance Home Care Inc., on Avenue U, as well as two ambulette companies and three clinics in Brighton Beach.
Levy "set up a series of corporations elaborately structured to conceal his control," a spokesman for Cuomo said.
Levy lawyer Dominic Amorosa said his client provided adequate health care. He called the charges "enormously exaggerated."