Sheldon Silver's Son-in-Law Admits $6M Ponzi Scam by the Forward

Sheldon Silver's Son-in-Law Admits $6M Ponzi Scam

A son-in-law of indicted former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pleaded guilty on Monday to operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of nearly $6 million over seven years.

Marcello Trebitsch, 37, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to securities fraud, three months after authorities first accused him of using investment funds to benefit himself and to repay other investors.

“I’m sorry for what I have done, and I apologize to the court and to my family,” Trebitsch said in court.

Trebitsch, a Brooklyn resident, co-owned investment fund Allese Capital LLC with his wife, Michelle Trebitsch, a daughter of Silver, who had been one of New York state’s most powerful politicians until he was hit with corruption charges in January.

Prosecutors said that from 2007 to 2014, Marcello Trebitsch solicited more than $8 million from four investors to be invested in large-cap stocks with the promise of annual returns of 14 percent to 16 percent.

Instead, Trebitsch only invested a portion of the funds in securities, on which he suffered net trading losses, authorities said.

Rather than disclose the losses to investors, Trebitsch created false documents including phony account statements that claimed positive annual returns of 15 percent to 19 percent, prosecutors said.

As for the rest of the investors’ money, Trebitsch instead mostly used it for his own personal benefit, including to repay other investors.

Under his plea agreement, Trebitsch has agreed to waive any appeal of a sentence below 5-1/4 years in prison and pay $5.9 million in restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 2.

The case appears to be separate from the pending charges against Silver, 71, who resigned as speaker after being first accused of corruption in January but remains the assemblyman for Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Prosecutors accuse Silver of using his position at a law firm to conceal more than $3 million earned referring asbestos sufferers to the firm from a doctor whose research received secret benefits, including $500,000 in state grants.

Silver also received $700,000 by steering real estate developers with business before the legislature to another law firm, prosecutors said.

Silver has pleaded not guilty to charges including honest services mail and wire fraud and extortion. He is scheduled to go to trial on Nov. 2.-Reuters


Sheldon Silver's Son-in-Law Admits $6M Ponzi Scam

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Sheldon Silver's Son-in-Law Admits $6M Ponzi Scam

Thank you!

This article has been sent!