The Real Deal New York

Late real estate mogul’s $40M estate may have found heir

Court to decide on surprising claim that Roman Blum left everything to long-lost love

June 02, 2014 01:40PM

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Roman Blum

The beneficiary of an alleged long-lost love of a Staten Island real estate mogul has come forward to attempt to claim a $40 million estate.

Roman Blum rose to prominence after constructing and selling houses in Staten Island after the development of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The Holocaust survivor died at age 97 in 2012 with no known will. But a will was filed in Staten Island Surrogate’s Court — one that Blum purportedly sent to Helen Pietrucha, a woman Blum meet in Warsaw in 1938. Blum and Pietrucha were separated during World War II.

Pietrucha had a miscarriage, and Blum spent five years in labor camps, the New York Post reported. After failing to reunite with her, he married another woman and upon attempting a reunion in the 1970s, found out that Pietrucha relocated to Australia and married someone else.

According to Teresa Musial, a longtime friend and caretaker of Pietrucha, Blum wrote Pietrucha a letter in 1987 that included a will in which he wrote, “I give all my estate after my death to my beloved Helen Pietrucha,”  Blum told no one about the will; the two witnesses listed on it have since died. And Pietrucha died in 1999.

Musial filed that will with the court last week.The Staten Island Surrogate’s Court will now decide the fate of the $40 million fortune. Former Congressman Vito Fossella is consulting with lawyers for Musial, the Post said. [NYP]Mark Maurer

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