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California dreaming: Pill pusher loses fight to stay out of a Brooklyn court

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The California man accused of supplying Adderall and Vicodin to borough pill pushers tried to weasel out of a criminal charge — and the 25-year prison sentence that goes with it — by claiming that he couldn’t be tried in a Brooklyn court when he’s never stepped foot here.

Attorneys for Mischa Pinchuk asked that the drug dealing charges against the 22-year-old be dropped on jurisdictional grounds on July 29. Since he’s never visited Brooklyn, he shouldn’t be tried in a Brooklyn court, they claim.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes claims Pinchuk was part of a nation-wide conspiracy to sell more than $1 million worth of pills to Brooklyn students and young professionals.

Prosecutors said that between March, 2009, and June, 2010, Pinchuk supplied amphetamines and other drugs to Brooklyn resident Pinchas Goldshtein, as well as several others. Pinchuk would allegedly Fed Ex pills to Brooklyn on a monthly basis, using his cellphone to text package tracking numbers to Goldshtein and his other alleged clients.

In return, Goldshtein deposited money into a bank account that Pinchuk had access to, prosecutors said.

Goldshtein, Pinchuk and four others were arrested in July, 2010. At the time, Hynes compared Pinchuk’s pill distribution business to the heroin trade.

“This criminal enterprise does not produce dirty needles or crack pipes or addicts lying wasted in alleys and doorways, but it is nonetheless a very serious threat,” Hynes explained. “Much like professional athletes who once believed steroids could improve their performance and were not harmful to them, these young people are abusing pharmaceuticals not simply to get high, but often to improve their performance at work and at school, and while it may be viewed by them as clean and safe — make no mistake, they are as addicted and often as at risk, as anyone pumping heroin into a vein.”

But Pinchuk claims that he should have never been arrested — at least not by prosecutors from Brooklyn.

“Because he was never in New York, this state has no jurisdictional predicate for charging him with selling and possessing drugs or with money laundering in New York,” his attorneys wrote in court papers.

Yet Judge Mark Dwyer disagreed. After reviewing the court papers, Dwyer threw out Pinchuk’s motion to have the charges dismissed.

Feds: Agent bilked $50 million

A real estate agent is looking at 30 years in a very small condo — the prison cell awaiting him for allegedly bilking $50 million from more than 10 banks he swindled over the last 14 years, Brooklyn federal prosecutors said this week.

A federal grand jury indicted Edul Ahmad on Aug. 19 with participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that targeted banks and lending institutions.

Prosecutors claim that between 1995 and 2009 Ahmad, a licensed real estate broker and loan officer with ties to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Queens), and his co-conpirators padded loan applications and other paperwork to make it appear that his clients were more creditworthy than they actually were. He did this so he could profit from the real estate commissions and loan fees he received from mortgage deals he hammered out with the banks, prosecutors claim.

But the mortgage crisis brought an end to his plans: Many of the homeowners he represented were forced to foreclose on their loans because the borrowers could not afford to make their mortgage payments, U.S. District Attorney Loretta Lynch claimed.

“Mortgage loans allow millions of Americans to turn the dream of home ownership into reality,” Lynch said in a statement.

“The system must be based on the accuracy of its information and the integrity of its members. [Ahmad] allegedly brought neither to the table, abusing the trust of the financial institutions who relied upon him.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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