Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Man hid $82,100 belonging to real estate mogul Solomon Dwek
TRENTON — An Ocean Township man hid $82,100 belonging to disgraced real estate mogul Solomon Dwek in a plastic bag and envelopes to keep it out of the hands of the bankruptcy trustee overseeing the case.
Barry Kantrowitz, 62, of the township's Wayside section, told U.S. District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano that he concealed Dwek's cash three times between February 2007 and March 2008 so the bankruptcy trustee would not find out the money.
Kantrowitz hid plastic bag filled with cash in real estate office
Kantrowitz, broker/owner of Barry Associates LLC and second vice president of the Monmouth County Association of Realtors, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a count of fraudulent concealment of assets.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 23, 2011.
In March 2007, Kantrowitz hid a plastic bag containing $75,100 in cash behind air conditioning units at his real estate office in Ocean Township, authorities said. Dwek picked it up later, court papers state.
Two other times in September 2007 and March 2008, he delivered an envelope stuffed with cash, totaling $7,000, to Dwek himself, according to court papers.
Cash exchanges were secretly taped
But Dwek was cooperating with federal investigators and secretly taped the meetings, authorities said.
Dwek turned federal informant shortly after he was arrested in May 2006 on bank fraud charges after he cashed a bogus $25.2 million check at a PNC Bank drive-through branch in Eatontown. He then tried unsuccessfully to cash a second $25 million check.
Dwek's $400 million real estate empire was forced into bankruptcy. Bankruptcy trustee Charles Stanziale later said Dwek was operating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that included loans on "phantom properties" that did not actually exist.
Dwek wore a wire and a tiny video camera as he traveled throughout New Jersey and New York, with his work resulting in the arrests of 46 people on corruption and money-laundering charges.
Dwek has since served as the star government witness at the corruption trials of former Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini and former state Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt of Waretown. Beldini and Van Pelt both were found guilty of accepting bribes.