PHILIP LEOPOLD INDICTED FOR STEALING MORE THAN $1.6 MILLION FROM 85-YEAR OLD WOMAN

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of PHILIP LEOPOLD, 76, for stealing more than $1.6 million from an 85-year old woman by withdrawing money from her bank and trust accounts without her authorization. LEOPOLD is charged with Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, and Attempted Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. “The conduct with which the defendant stands accused—preying upon an elderly victim by taking advantage of her age and health condition—is, sadly, not uncommon,” District Attorney Vance said. “Hundreds of thousands of seniors are abused either financially or physically by people they know and trust. If you or someone you know has been a victim of elder abuse, I urge you to call the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Elder Abuse hotline at 212-335-9007.” According to documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court, LEOPOLD first met the victim, an 85-year old woman who is nearly blind, hearing impaired, and has other health issues, about 40 years ago. LEOPOLD began to help her with finances by preparing checks for her signature to pay her household expenses. In 2002, at LEOPOLD’s behest, the victim created a trust, in which Leopold and Bank of New York were named as co-trustees. By late spring 2003, the trust held more than $2 million. The victim opened a checking account at the same bank that spring. Between December 2002 and May 2010, LEOPOLD is accused of stealing more than $1.6 million from the victim by writing unauthorized checks to himself from the victim’s Citibank and Emigrant Savings Bank accounts. In addition, LEOPOLD sent forged letters to the Bank of New York Mellon, purportedly authorized and signed by the victim, requesting transfers of tens of thousands of dollars from the trust account to either her Bank of New York Mellon checking account or Emigrant Savings Bank account. From these two checking accounts, LEOPOLD wrote numerous checks to himself, which he deposited into his own TD Bank account. According to court filings, LEOPOLD used the stolen money to pay for day-to-day household expenses such as rent, clothes, food, car maintenance, and student loans. He also had approximately 30 life and health insurance policies for himself and his daughter, and used more than $300,000 of the victim’s money to fund those policies. LEOPOLD also spent more than $63,000 to rent multiple storage units in Manhattan, and $882,000 to pay for his personal credit card purchases. He spent more than $500,000 at ShopNBC, a television and online shopping site. Through ShopNBC and other television and online retailers such as The Home Shopping Network and QVC, LEOPOLD purchased thousands of watches, watch storage and display cases, rings and other jewelry, MP3 players, digital cameras and recorders, video cameras and DVDs, lamps, vacuum cleaners, throw blankets, sheet sets, candlesticks, filters, tool kits, bags, clocks, figurines and globes, coin collections, luggage, knife sets, glasses, pots and pans, cups and saucers, flameless candles and at least one “multi-color fog maker.” Assistant District Attorney Om Gillett is handling the prosecution of this case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Judy Salwen, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, and Tom Wornom, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau. The following individuals also assisted in the investigation: Assistant District Attorneys Elizabeth Loewy, Attorney-in-Charge of the Elder Abuse Unit, and Gilda Mariani, Chief of the Money Laundering & Tax Crimes Unit; Detective Donald Kennedy, Captain Joseph Del Duca, Lt. Patrick Johnston, and Sergeant Anthony Gonzalez of the DANY Squad; Account Investigator Bruce Baird, under the supervision of Senior Account Investigator Vincent Jones; Trial Preparation Assistant Colleen MacPhee; and Mukaila Rabiu, Tax Auditor from the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance. Defendant Information: PHILIP LEOPOLD, D.O.B. 6/8/1935 Bronx, N.Y. Charges: Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count Forgery in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 5 counts Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree, a class D felony, 5 counts Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony, 4 counts Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony, 4 counts Attempted Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class E felony, 1 count Attempted Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class A misdemeanor,1 count

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