Volume 22, Number 09 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | July 10 - 16, 2009

Police Blotter

Soho shoplifting
The security guard at J. Crew, 99 Prince St. near Mercer St. apprehended a woman who was stuffing merchandize from the shelves into a shopping bag around 5 p.m. Sun., June 28, police said. Joan Lee, 49, was apprehended and charged with third degree burglary, fourth degree grand larceny and possession of stolen property. She had tucked clothes and shoes valued at nearly $2,000 into her bag, according to the charges. She was being held in lieu of bail pending a Sept. 30 court appearance.

East River body
Police responded to a 1:32 p.m. call on Thurs., July 2 about a body floating in the East River off the FDR Dr. at Grand St. An unidentified black woman between the ages of 20 and 30 was pulled from the water and declared dead at the scene. The Medical Examiner’s office is investigating the cause of death.

Stock fraud arrests
Six defendants surrendered to the F.B.I. in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday in connection with a stock fraud and conspiracy indictment charging that from 1998 through 2006 they defrauded investors of up to $140 million through two security companies with offices on Wall St.

The leading defendant, Ross H. Mandell, 52, along with Stephen Shea, 37; Robert Grabowski, 41; Adam Harrington, 39 (also known as Adam Rukdeschel); Arn Wilson, 52, and Michael Passaro, 46, pleaded not guilty at their July 8 arraignment.

The indictment charges the defendants with inducing investors to buy shares in The Thornton Company, with offices at 99 Wall St. and Sky Capital Holdings, with offices at 110 Wall St., and their affiliates by misrepresenting the companies and omitting negative information about them.

Investor funds were actually used to pay off investors who had lost money through earlier purported investments, to pay excessive undisclosed commissions to the defendants and other brokers and to pay expenses including a private jet for Mandell, according to the indictment secured by Lev. L. Dassin, Acting U.S. Attorney in Manhattan.

The scheme involved manipulating the market for Sky Capital stock to maintain share price and make it appear there was a demand for the shares when in fact there was none, according to the indictment.

— Albert Amateau



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