The Real Deal New York

Over $1.7M “improperly” taken from Menachem Stark’s account: court filings

January 23, 2014 09:40AM

More than $1.7 million was “improperly” removed from slain Brooklyn landlord Menachem Stark’s bank account, according to court filings. United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Elizabeth Stong ordered a review of an account controlled by Stark and his longtime business partner Israel Perlmutter last week, after Stark’s kidnapping and murder earlier this month.

A subsidiary of lender Deutsche Bank, acting as a trustee for a 
defaulted $29 million loan on Stark and Perlmutter’s 74-unit Williamsburg 
rental property at 100 South 4th Street, prompted the review by filing an application for “interim emergency relief” to push for updated bank account records, as The Real Deal reported.

The building’s court-appointed trustee Jonathan Flaxer said in court filings seen by the New York Daily News that approximately $1.7 million had been recently taken from the account. Flaxer added that bank statements indicated that the building’s monthly operating reports to the judge “may have been tampered with to conceal the diversion.”

Another account that was meant to hold more than $200,000 only contained $3,500, Flaxer said in the filings, and “there is reason to believe that further monies have been misappropriated.”

Flaxer told the judge he wanted to depose Perlmutter about the missing funds, according to the newspaper, and was advised by Perlmutter’s attorney that his client would invoke the Fifth Amendment if he did.

A lawyer who received $150,000 from the South Side account in November was deposed on Monday, but refused to disclose details about his client or why the payment was made, according to the News. The lawyer repaid the money this week, court filings show.

Attorneys for Perlmutter and the trust did not return the newspaper’s calls seeking comment. [NYDN] – Hiten Samtani

  • David Schorr

    He’ll plead the 5th? You’d think when your partner gets murdered, you’d cooperate…unless you did something wrong….

  • WannaBeLandlord

    Obviously there was a desperate situation that led to these chain of events. Very sad that a father was murdered due to it.

    • Brian Geary

      Desperate chain of events? Yeah, GREED and THEFT. Give us a break. He was apparently stealing money and you defend that?? If the thug cared about his kids, he wouldn’t have been stealing and dealing with other thugs.

  • Oof

    The account that was supposed to have over $200k in it is the account which holds the security deposits for 100 S 4th. My security deposit is $6900. Considering there’s only $3500 in that account now….guess I can kiss that deposit bye bye. GUESS WHO’S NOT PAYING RENT ANYMORE!

  • check the hat

    prob has 200K in that hat.

  • Karl

    There is so much missing from these stories – this is only the icing on the cake. The ‘meat & potatoes’ obviously must go back many years, many business deals, defaults & foreclosures & tonnes of underhanded money siphoning deals. Stark could not have been the only one involved. Hopefully all these facts will be made public and justice will prevail… but in reality, I guess all we’ll really hear will be the dramatic headlines & misconstrued editorial comments.

    • Buzz Horowitz

      Karl is absolutely correct EXCEPT… neither the Brooklyn D.A.’s office nor the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District REALLY wants to deal with it because it would reveal far too much about the vast illegal activities of not just Stark but the entire power structure of the Satmar community. By any just application of the law, Stark and his ilk should have faced RICO prosecution– if it’s good enough for Italians… Meanwhile, except for the sexual assault of children– FINALLY!!!– prosecutors turn a willfully blind eye to it. Ironically, of course, HAD Stark been investigated years ago, he’d likely be alive today. Ooops!