Lumber yard owner accused of check-cashing scheme

Brooklyn man allegedly laundered $55M and spent it on real estate, cars

New York /
Aug.August 26, 2021 10:00 AM
David Motovich and his lumber yard at 1169 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn (LinkedIn, Google Maps, iStock)

David Motovich and his lumber yard at 1169 Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn (LinkedIn, Google Maps, iStock)

Lumber prices soared during the pandemic, but that doesn’t explain how the owner of a Brooklyn lumber yard came up with $55 million, prosecutors say.

David Motovich, 46, has been charged with running a check-cashing scheme and spending his ill-gotten money on real estate, apartment renovations and more.

The owner of Midwood Lumber & Millwork on Coney Island Avenue was arrested Tuesday for bank fraud, identity theft and witness tampering, the Commercial Observer reported.

Federal prosecutors allege that Motovich’s scheme began in 2012 with illegal cash-checking. He allegedly provided high-fee check cashing and wouldn’t report transactions above $10,000, as required by anti-money-laundering statutes. He allegedly worked with contractors who paid employees in cash to avoid taxes.

To conceal his activities, Motovich allegedly created shell companies and opened bank accounts in the names of other people, depositing about $55 million into them. Motovich allegedly spent that cash on real estate, jewelry, a Lexus, a Porsche, life insurance, renovations on an apartment and more.

Prosecutors accuse Motovich of pleading with witnesses not to cooperate with the government and paying them off. He also allegedly pressured witnesses to use his hand-picked attorneys and fire their own.

The case is being litigated in the Eastern District of New York.

[CO] — Holden Walter-Warner





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    The Centre at Purchase at 1, 2, 3, 4 Manhattanville Road with George Comfort & Sons CEO Peter Duncan (George Comfort & Sons)
    Westchester office park owned by George Comfort & Sons slated for auction
    Westchester office park owned by George Comfort & Sons slated for auction
    Attorney General Letitia James and A&E Real Estate CEO James Patchett (Getty, iStock)
    A&E pays just $510K in lead-paint settlement
    A&E pays just $510K in lead-paint settlement
    Seeding from recapitalization of 25 health care properties
    KKR, Cornerstone in $1B JV to develop health care facilities
    KKR, Cornerstone in $1B JV to develop health care facilities
    The Broadway location of Halloween Adventure (Facebook via New York Costumes / Halloween Adventure)
    Halloween Adventure to vacate East Village home as retail condo hits market
    Halloween Adventure to vacate East Village home as retail condo hits market
    The Saratoga County construction company owner defrauded homebuyers and lenders out of $1 million, spending money on himself or other jobs rather than the homes he promised to build. (iStock)
    Upstate homebuilder gets prison for failing to deliver
    Upstate homebuilder gets prison for failing to deliver
    Bluerock Residential CEO Robert Ramin Kamfar (Owler)
    NY-based multifamily REIT Bluerock explores sale
    NY-based multifamily REIT Bluerock explores sale
    Two more rent law challenges tossed, landlords reserve hope in appeal
    Two more rent law challenges tossed, landlords rest hopes on appeal
    Two more rent law challenges tossed, landlords rest hopes on appeal
    1223 East New York Avenue with Carlyle Group's Jason Hart (Google Maps, Carlyle Group)
    Carlyle Group scores $32M construction loan for Crown Heights storage facility
    Carlyle Group scores $32M construction loan for Crown Heights storage facility
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...