Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2017

DA VANCE: SIX INDIVIDUALS AND ONE COMPANY INDICTED FOR THEFT OF $270,000 THROUGH SHELL CORPORATION SCHEME

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of six individuals and one company, 92K BLVD., for the theft of more than a quarter of a million dollars through a scheme involving credit card fraud and shell corporations. The defendants are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees.[1]

“There’s no question that criminal actors benefit from a lack of transparency in our banking system,” said District Attorney Vance. “As alleged in this case, a single corporation served as the front for a wider network of shell companies, which enabled the defendants to conceal their activities and steal more than a quarter of a million dollars. For precisely this reason, my Office has long supported measures such as mandatory identification of beneficial owners on state incorporations forms, which would deter the use of private companies for illicit purposes and protect the integrity of the financial marketplace.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, between November 2013 and January 2014, SAMUEL BERKOVITS, 50, BEZALEL MERMELSTEIN, 40, MOSHE POMERANTSEV, 22, NAFTALI SAFERN, 30, and YEHUDA TYRNAUER, 29, used their personal credit cards to make thousands of dollars’ worth of purchases from 92K BLVD., a shell company, which maintained an American Express merchant account linked to a Bank of America account, both of which were owned by ISRAEL FISCHER, 62. During the same period, numerous checks in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 were written from 92K BLVD.’s account to other outside companies, through which thousands of dollars in checks were then distributed back to the individual defendants in amounts ranging from $4,000 to $9,000.

As part of the defendants’ scheme, the supposed buyers requested refunds shortly after making the purchases, prompting American Express to credit their accounts and attempt to retrieve the matching funds from 92K BLVD.’s merchant account. However, American Express was unable to so, and when Bank of America was contacted about the missing funds, American Express received information that there were insufficient funds in the account, causing American Express to suffer more than $270,000 in losses.

Assistant District Attorney Alona Katz is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Daniel Holmes, Elizabeth Roper, and Jeremy Glickman, Deputy Chiefs of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Brenda Fischer, Chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney Michael Sachs, Chief of the Investigation Division. Cybercrime Analyst Lilianna Rembar and Detective Ramon Velez, of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau Squad, and supervising Sergeant Robert Li, also of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau Squad, provided additional assistance with the investigation. 

District Attorney Vance thanked American Express, and in particular, Investigator Al Cavuto, for their assistance with the investigation. 

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.

Defendant Information:

92K BLVD.
Brooklyn, NY

Charged:

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count

ISRAEL FISCHER, D.O.B. 4/18/1955
Brooklyn, NY

Charged:

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count

SAMUEL BERKOVITS, D.O.B. 11/05/1966
Brooklyn, NY

Charged:

  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count

BEZALEL MERMELSTEIN, D.O.B. 3/19/1977
Brooklyn, NY

Charged:

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count

MOSHE POMERANTSEV, D.O.B. 11/1/1994
Woodridge, NY

Charged:

  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count

NAFTALI SAFERN, D.O.B. 6/19/1987   
Brooklyn, NY

Charged:

  • Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count

YEHUDA TYRNAUER, D.O.B. 5/11/1988
Brooklyn, NY

Charged:

  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 1 count

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