While perhaps known for its less savory aspects and characters, this author’s native region has some high achievements and products that are of definite value: diners, pizza, bagels, excellent schools, a fine if somewhat insane president of the United States, Steve Buscemi. Still, my Long Island pride has perhaps never been stronger than over the past month, a possible unprecedented orgy of fraud and duplicity from the Cross Island Parkway to Montauk Point, from sea to Sound, in spite of the fact that much of Goodfellas was filmed, and could well have been set, there.
First, there are the boiler room jamokes whose mantra read, “we’ll pound the phone and with a little bit of luck, we’ll make a ton of money and won’t give a fuck” getting 10 and 6 years in prison for doing just that. A bakers’ dozen of alleged identity thieves were hit with a 108-count indictment, and 11 officials of the island’s pipe fitters union got nabbed for allegedly accepting more than $100,000 in bribes, much of it apparently over and under tables that the writer may well have eaten more mozzarella fries at 2 a.m. than was healthy even for an 18-year-old. The Rockville Centre-based niece of the president of the United States accused him and his siblings of a massive fraud, the center of which may or may not involve a mysterious post office box in Hicksville. And that’s before we get to the gentleman from Anthony Scaramucci’s own hometown of Westbury pleading guilty to what seems to me the very Long Island crime of mislabeling meat.
But this, dear readers, is a blog about finance. And here, too, Long Island—and specifically our own Nassau County—leads the way. Not only because the month began with word that Great Neck’s proudest son once linked to the largest insider-trading scheme in history would be buying Long Island’s team, and with Roslyn’s own Dan Kamensky self-fulfilling his prophecy of prison. And not only because we’ve got ourselves a local Ponzi scheme that checks all the right allegation boxes: money skimmed to pay the mortgage, since mortgages are expensive on this particular sandbar; screwing over friends, neighbors and the elderly; bogus trades and statements; the crucial lack of an SEC registration on the part of a man claiming to be a hedge fund manager; the FINRA ban. All of that is, of course, fairly standard no matter where in this once-great nation one chooses to ply one’s fraud. No. It’s because this fraud was allegedly perpetrated by a man with an exquisite name for an accused Long Island Ponzi schemer.
Rand Heckler appeared in court Wednesday on three counts of 2nd-degree grand larceny, third-degree grand larceny and first-degree scheme to defraud. All are felonies. Heckler was released on his own recognizance and was scheduled to appear in court Nov. 13. If convicted of the top count, he faces up to five to 15 years in prison…. In all, Heckler, 65, stands accused of stealing $1,004,159 from four people. Prosecutors also plan to charge his corporation Rand Heckler, Inc.
Ex-Nassau Investment Broker Arrested In $1M Ponzi Scheme: DA [Patch]2 sentenced in $147M fraud scheme [Long Island Business News]Thieves stole more than $1 million in ‘synthetic identity’ fraud scheme, Suffolk DA Timothy Sini says [Newsday]Feds, Sini: 11 union officials indicted on racketeering, bribery and fraud [Newsday]Trump’s Niece From Long Island Sues President, Family, For Fraud [Long Island Press]Trump Tower Hicksville: Why is the Trump campaign sending rent checks to a Long Island P.O. box? [Salon]Long Island Man Pleads Guilty In Mislabeled Meat Scheme [Patch]