Tag Archives: prison

Queens man gets 45 years for murdering wife, young daughters in their bed


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A Jamaica man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for stabbing to death his wife and their two daughters, ages 1 and 2, after he flew into a jealous rage, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

Miguel Mejia-Ramos, 29, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter in the killing of his wife, Deisy Garcia, 21, and their two children, prosecutors said. He allegedly stabbed Garcia and his daughters, Daniela and Yoselin Mejia, repeatedly with a kitchen knife sometime between Jan. 18 and 19.

Photos via Facebook

Photos via Facebook

He then tried to flee to Mexico, but was captured in Texas and arrested.

At the time of his arraignment, the District Attorney said Mejia-Ramos killed his girls because he didn’t have car seats to take them with him after committing the crime, according to published reports.

Following his arrest, he admitted that before killing his family, he had returned home drunk and looked through his wife’s phone, according to Brown. On the phone, he found a photo of his wife with another man and flew into a rage. Mejia-Ramos then grabbed the knife and stabbed his wife while she slept next to her children, then killed the girls.

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John Liu’s ex-campaign workers sentenced to prison


| mchan@queenscourier.com

City Comptroller John Liu painted the Thursday sentencing and overall investigation of his two former campaign workers as a “set up a weak man and a wonderful young woman.”

His ex-campaign treasurer and fundraiser will serve time in prison for less than a year for funneling illegal contributions in a straw donor scheme during his bid for mayor.

Jia “Jenny” Hou, 26, was sentenced to 10 months in prison on October 10 for attempting to commit wire fraud, making false statements and obstructing justice.

The former campaign treasurer from Flushing will also be under supervision for three years.

Another aide, Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, will serve four months in prison and three years under supervision for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and attempting to commit wire fraud.

The 47-year-old of New Jersey was a fundraiser and contribution bundler for Liu.

“For reasons I may never fully understand, the U.S. Attorney’s Office set out to destroy me with what has been described as an extraordinarily intrusive and exhaustive investigation,” Liu said in a statement. “Failing to find that I had done anything wrong, they proceeded to set up a weak man and a wonderful young woman.”

The comptroller, who lost his Democratic primary for mayor in September, said Hou did not deserve the “ordeal and injustice she has been put through.”

He said she was “a good person and exceptional individual” when she was found guilty in May.

Federal officials said Hou and Pan evaded Campaign Finance Board restrictions that limit donor contributions to citywide candidates to $4,950.

The pair used straw donors, prosecutors said, or individuals who illegally make political contributions in their own names with money they have received from others.

Hou was caught offering to reimburse an individual for donations well-above the allowed amount during a series of instant messages on July 14, court records show.

Prosecutors said she also instructed campaign volunteers on how to imitate the handwriting of campaign donors on the contribution forms in order to make it appear official.

Hou also failed to give up documents with identities of several campaign contributors in response to subpoenas and lied about producing them, according to court records.

Pan was caught funneling $16,000 in campaign contributions by an undercover FBI agent, who posed as a businessperson interested in supporting the comptroller, records show.

Liu was not accused of any wrongdoing. However, the trial kept Liu’s campaign from receiving public matching funds that could have doubled his war chest. 

“I am very sad but even more angry at what has occurred,” Liu said after the sentencing of his former aides.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office was wrong and should not be proud of its conduct.”

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Queens GOP operative John Haggerty starts sentence for stealing from mayor’s re-election campaign


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy  Joe Marino/NY Daily News

The Queens political operative convicted two years ago of stealing thousands of dollars from the mayor’s re-election campaign has begun his prison sentence.

John Haggerty Jr. was received in Ulster Correctional Facility on March 27, according to the state’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

The 44-year-old Republican consultant from Forest Hills was found guilty in October 2011 of second-degree grand larceny and second-degree money laundering for pilfering $750,000 from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2009 re-election campaign.

He will serve at least one year and four months in the medium-security, all male Napanoch facility with a maximum sentence of four years.

Haggerty is eligible for parole in December, according to the Department of Corrections. His earliest release date is July 12, 2014.

 

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Tip line set up in an attempt to exonerate Mazoltuv Borukhova in 2007 murder of her husband


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A confidential tip line has been established by friends and family members hoping to free a Forest Hills woman serving life behind bars for the 2007 murder of her husband.

Former NYPD homicide detective Jay Salpeter said he was hired by supporters of Mazoltuv Borukhova to seek information that may lead to the exoneration of the former physician convicted for the shooting death of her estranged spouse, Daniel Malakov.

Borukhova and her cousin Mikhail Mallayev were sentenced life in prison without parole for murder and conspiracy in the “execution style” killing of Malakov on April 21, 2009.

“I believe she’s innocent,” said Debbie Jonas, whose daughter is friends with Borukhova. “Many of us believe very strongly that Mazoltuv didn’t have a fair trial, and the proper investigation was never done. She’s innocent. My gut instincts tell me that.”

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the overturning of the conviction, Jonas and Salpeter said.

“Cases like this sometimes are a result of a rush to judgment by police and prosecutors, while important information is left uninvestigated,” Salpeter said. “Tip lines have been very successful in getting people out or giving me new information. It’s led to the exonerations of a couple of people that were all convicted of murder, one being on death row.”

A motion for a new trial is being prepared by Borukhova’s appellate attorney, Nathan Dershowitz, who said the first trial was marred by “major irregularities.”

Borukhova could be retried by a different jury, a legal source said, if new evidence is found and a judge grants approval.

Malakov, 34, was shot and killed on October 28, 2007 after leaving his Queens office to take his four-year-old daughter, Michelle, to a Forest Hills playground to meet Borukhova for a custody visit. He had previously won custody of the child in a bitter court battle, and prosecutors reportedly claimed Borukhova’s motive for the murder was sole custody of the girl.

“There’s something else out there, evidence that was never looked for,” Jonas said. “Money can’t be equated with somebody’s freedom.”

Individuals with information are asked to call 718-747-4662.

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Ex-Met Dykstra sentenced to 3 years in Calif. prison for car scam

Former New York Mets outfielder Lenny Dykstra was sentenced Monday to three years in state prison in a grand theft auto case. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Ulfig sentenced Dykstra after refusing to allow him to withdraw a no-contest plea. The judge said the theft scheme showed sophistication and extensive planning. Dykstra was immediately remanded to custody and he walked into the court’s back room, hands in his pockets. Read More: New York Post

 

Judge says trustee can go after phony $83M profits Mets owners received from Madoff Ponzi scheme

The Mets’ owners will have to cough up their phony profits from investing with Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, a judge ruled today. But Manhattan federal Judge Jed Rakoff said the exact amount — which Madoff bankruptcy trustee Irving Picard pegged at $83.3 million — “will be determined in a subsequent order and may require further briefing and oral argument.” Read More: New York Post

 

MTA won’t give cancer survivor door-to-door service

It’s been a rough ride for a 69-year-old, retired school teacher from Brooklyn. The MTA is refusing to provide door-to-door “Access-A-Ride” service for ailing grandmother Iris Marcus, who fought off stage-three breast cancer seven years ago but says she can’t walk more than several steps without feeling severe pain from a degenerative back disease and diabetes-induced ulcerated feet. For six years, the Midwood senior relied on Access-A-Ride to commute to her doctors and other destinations. Read More: New York Post

NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Efforts Get Show Of Support

Muslim leaders joined Long Island Congressman Peter King today in support of the New York City Police Department’s efforts that some say unfairly target Muslims. The group spoke this morning at a news conference outside police headquarters organized by the American Islamic Leadership Coalition. They say the police department’s counter-terrorism efforts – including the monitoring of Muslim communities in and around the city and at area colleges – is necessary to keep New Yorkers safe. Read More: NY1

 

Demi Moore heads home to LA after rehab

Demi Moore has returned to Los Angeles following a stint in rehab. Moore, 49, appeared relaxed and tanned as she emerged from her private plane Sunday evening donning a white sweater and jean shorts with an unidentified man as her escort, in photos obtained by TMZ. Read More: New York Post

 

Christina Hendricks, Olivia Munn nude photo scandal: Hacker leaks stars’ racy cell phone pictures online

The two latest victims in Hollywood’s ongoing nude photo hacking scandal, Christina Hendricks and Olivia Munn, are claiming that though some of the released personal photos are of them, others are most definitely not. Namely, the naked ones. A full-frontal nude photo allegedly of Munn, 31, surfaced on the Internet Sunday, but sources close to her deny that the snaps are of the “I Don’t Know How She Does It” actress, according to TMZ. Read More: Daily News

Mourners Gather At Fallen NYPD Officer’s Funeral


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Mourners Gather At Fallen NYPD Officer’s Funeral

Family, friends, and fellow officers will gather on Long Island today to say a final goodbye to a city police officer who was gunned down last week in Brooklyn. The funeral for Officer Peter Figoski will take place at 11 a.m. at the Parish of St. Joseph Church in Babylon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was among the hundreds who paid their respects on the second day of Figoski’s wake yesterday. Police say Figoski, 47, was shot in the face by Lamont Pride, 27, during a botched robbery last Monday morning in Cypress Hills. Pride is charged with first and second degree murder in Figoski’s death. Read More: NY1

 

Kim Jong Ils death rocks North Korea, gives region jitters

It was the scenario strategists from Beijing to Washington fretted over: Kim Jong Il’s sudden death befalls North Korea, before the isolated regime completed a power transfer to his young son and rejoined disarmament talks with the US. With news of Kim’s death Monday, the impoverished country with a nuclear program plunged further into uncertainty, raising risks for the region. Read More: New York Post

 

Roughin’ it to roofin’ it

Sheryl-Ann Peters’ occupation was never televised. But unlike Occupy Wall Street protesters — who recently seized a vacant East New York home and moved in a homeless family — her housing takeover was entirely legal. Peters became a first-time homeowner last month thanks to an affordable-housing program for neighborhoods hardest hit by the housing crisis. The city bought the vacant, foreclosed, three-bedroom in St. Albans, Queens in August 2010 for $266,833 under a federal housing program. It added $177,190 worth of renovations, bringing the total worth to $444,023. Read More: Daily News

 

FDNY: Five Firefighters Injured In Brooklyn Brownstone Fire

Five city firefighters were hospitalized Monday while fighting a two-alarm fire in brooklyn. The New York City Fire Department says crews responded to a three-story brownstone located at 1102 Prospect Place in Crown Heights just after 9 a.m. Two firefighters were taken to Cornell Burn Center, one of whom suffered burns over 40 percent of his body. Three others were also injured. No civilians were hurt. The fire was under control in about an hour. Read More: NY1

 

Sources: Cornell Wins Bid For Roosevelt Island Tech Campus

Cornell University is about to become the winner of a competition to build a new science and engineering campus in the city, sources tell NY1. An official announcement from Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected later today. The city has offered free land on Roosevelt Island and up to $100 million worth of infrastructure. In a major sign of strength, the Cornell bid received a $350 million anonymous donation to help build the campus. Stanford University — another top contender — announced Friday it was pulling its bid. Columbia and NYU were also in the running. Read More: NY1

 

Brooklyn Man Awaits Arraignment For Burning Woman Alive

A Brooklyn man is expected to be arraigned today on charges he killed a woman by setting her on fire in her apartment building elevator. Jerome Issac, 47, is charged with murder and arson. Police say he turned himself in yesterday reeking of gasoline and saying he set a fire. Investigators believe he waited for Deloris Gillespie, 73, on the fifth floor of her building in Prospect Heights Saturday afternoon. Police say Isaac is the man seen in surveillance photos. When the elevator doors opened, they say Isaac sprayed Gillespie with a liquid accelerant, and kept spraying after she crouched down. They say he lit a Molotov cocktail and set Gillespie on fire, then tossed the flaming bottle in the elevator and kept spraying the victim. Read More: NY1

 

Haggerty sent to prison for 1 and 1/3 years for Bloomberg campaign cash theft

Disgraced political consultant John Haggerty — described by his own lawyer as broke, divorced and dishonored — was sentenced this morning to serve at least one and one-third years — and as much as four years — in prison for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign cash from Mayor Bloomberg. The sentence was handed down by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ronald Zweibel, and immediately enacted, with Haggerty being cuffed and led away to a back holding cell for processing. The sentence covers Haggerty’s October conviction for money laundering and second degree grand larceny. Read More: New York Post

Fiancee of Sean Bell urges NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to fire officers in beau’s shooting death


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Fiancee of Sean Bell urges NYPD Chief Ray Kelly to fire officers in beau’s shooting death

Sean Bell’s fiancée Thursday urged the city’s top cop to sack all five officers who fired in the shooting frenzy that killed her beau on their wedding day in 2006. Nicole Paultre-Bell made the demand of Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly after an NYPD trials commissioner recommended Tuesday that one of the cops, Detective Gescard Isnora, be booted from the force for violating department protocol while undercover and firing the first shot in the 50-shot barrage. Read More: Daily News

Mayor Michael Bloomberg breaks ground on Willets Point redevelopment 

Mayor Bloomberg broke ground Thursday on a controversial redevelopment that he vowed will transform gritty Willets Point into “a major engine for economic growth.” Bloomberg unearthed dirt with a slew of elected officials just steps from the mix of auto body shops and junkyards that abuts Citi Field. Read More: Daily News

Enter The Courier’s Giveaway of the Day Contest

The holidays are in full swing and in keeping with the spirit of the season of giving The Queens Courier is handing out free prizes daily. Today, four tickets to the North Shore Towers Cinema will be raffled off.  All you need to enter is an email address and your zip code. Click here to enter the contest. Check back daily as new prizes will be offered each day.  Yesterday, Robert Vasquez took home two tickets to the St. John’s Red Storm. Via Queens Courier

21 charged in scheme to defraud NY car dealerships

Members of a New York City auto crime ring busted this week bribed people into applying for expensive automobile loans for Cadillacs, Porsches and other luxury cars, then defaulted on millions of dollars and sold the cars on the black market. One of the 50 cars wrongly procured, a Porsche, was used to dump the body of one of two victims shot in 2009 inside the Long Island condo belonging to pro football player Jonathan Vilma, authorities said. Read More: Wall Street Journal

Disgraced former New York Controller Alan Hevesi will keep rotting in prison as parole board turns him down

 

Disgraced former state Controller Alan Hevesi was denied his first attempt at parole Thursday and will spend at least another year behind bars, the Daily News has learned. The once powerful Queens Democrat is serving a one-to-four year sentence at medium-security Mid-Hudson Correctional Facility in Oneida County for his role in a massive pay-to-play pension fund scandal during his tenure as state controller. Read More: Daily News

Alexander’s Secures $275M Refinancing of Rego Park II in Queens

 

Alexander’s, Inc. has completed a $275 million refinancing of its 610,000 square foot Rego Park II shopping center located in Queens. The seven-year loan bears interest at LIBOR plus 1.85 percent and amortizes based on a 30-year schedule. The proceeds of the new loan were used to repay the existing loan on the property. Alexander’s, Inc. is a real estate investment trust that has seven properties in the greater New York City metropolitan area. Read More: CityBizList

 

 

 

 

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/17/2011: Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Activist Patricia Dolan killed crossing Hillside Avenue

Patricia Dolan, longtime Community Board 8 member, president of the Queens Civic Congress, Kew Gardens Hills Civic Association and the founder of the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy, was struck and killed as she crossed Hillside Avenue on Tuesday, November 15. Police say Dolan, 72, was crossing the thoroughfare near 198th Street — on her way to a CB 8 Transportation Committee meeting — when she was struck by a 1998 Nissan sedan driven by an unidentified 57-year-old woman.  EMS responded to the scene and took Dolan to Jamaica Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Read More: Queens Courier

David Wright expects to stick around with NY Mets for 2012 MLB season

David Wright joined Ike Davis and Lucas Duda for a press conference to announce some of the Mets’ plans for their landmark season, which includes the return of Banner Day and, in April, a Tom Seaver bobblehead day. Davis and Duda both pronounced themselves fit from the injuries that affected them last season — Davis’ ankle is “full-go right now” and Duda is over his concussion. Read More: Daily News

Fairway supermarket opens in Douglaston

Foul weather did not dampen the excitement on the lines of eager customers awaiting the grand opening of the long-anticipated Fairway Market. “It’s been so long since we had a nice, big [food] store like this,” said Doris Mayne of Douglaston.  “It’s about time.” Customers lined up over an hour before the doors first opened, anxiously awaiting the store that has been over two years in the making. Read More: Queens Courier

Politicians Push For Expansion Of Good Samaritan Law At Queens Anti-Crime Rally

Elected officials in Queens are calling on residents to come together to stop crime. In the wake of an attack on a young girl and several robberies, local politicians attended an anti-crime rally Wednesday in Astoria. They spoke about legislation, including expanding a Good Samaritan law to businesses. Read More: NY1

Romanian duo sent to prison for thefts using doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards

Two Romanians in the U.S. on journalism visas were tossed in prison for up to three years Wednesday for starring in a true-crime story of theft by way of doctored Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards. Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa, both 33, were convicted of re-encoding the gift cards with stolen bank account information and then using them to withdraw almost $18,000 from a JPMorgan Chase bank in Queens. Read More: Daily News

Noise abatement equipment muffles ear-splitting MTA fan in Hunters Point 

Silence is golden for noise-addled residents of Hunters Point. Noise abatement equipment recently placed on a large fan that exhausts fumes from a nearby subway tunnel has muffled its ear-splitting racket, according to state Sen. Michael Gianaris. Read More: Queens Courier

Top fund-raiser for Comptroller Liu charged with funneling sham donations

A top fund-raiser for Comptroller John Liu was busted by the feds yesterday for allegedly providing the city’s chief fiscal officer with thousands of dollars in sham donations in order to evade campaign-finance laws. The charges against Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan yesterday delivered a devastating blow to Liu’s ambitions of running for mayor in 2013, and have raised questions about his role as the city’s top fiscal officer. Read More: New York Post

Drugs hidden in innocent flier’s luggage

A former Yankee Stadium security guard lost his job, went through a humiliating full-body strip search and faced the threat of spending the rest of his life in jail — all because someone planted two bricks of cocaine in his luggage. Roger Levans, 56, of South Ozone Park, Queens, said the cascade of horrors began Dec. 29, 2010, after he got off his Delta Air Lines flight from Guyana, where he’d been visiting family for Christmas — and didn’t end until March, when the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn finally dropped its bombshell drug charges. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Barbara Sheehan released from prison


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

According to published reports, the 50-year-old mother of two was released from Rikers Island earlier today, roughly two weeks after she was taken into custody.

Barbara was in prison awaiting sentencing for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree for the shooting death of her husband, retired NYPD sergeant Raymond Sheehan, on the morning of February 18, 2008. She surrendered to authorities on October 12.

Barbara’s defense was centered on the roughly two decades of physical and emotional abuse that she claims she suffered at the hands of her husband, including an argument the day before the slaying which ended with Raymond allegedly breaking his wife’s nose. She was acquitted of second degree murder on October 6.

Barbara is reportedly due back in court for sentencing on November 10, and she could serve between two and a quarter to 15 years behind bars. Niall MacGiollabhui, one of Barbara’s

attorneys, says an appeal of the conviction is imminent.