Battery Park City Resident Indicted by Feds for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud
A Battery Park City resident has been indicted by federal prosecutors for allegedly taking part in an elaborate, years-long scheme that defrauded Protegrity, a Connecticut-based data security firm at which his brother served as chief executive officer, of more than $6 million. On April 13, Suresh Munshani (who lives in Gateway Plaza) and Suni Munshani (who resides in Connecticut), were arrested by federal agents and charged with a complex scam that began with the brothers creating multiple front companies. Suresh Munshani then allegedly used his authority as president of Protegrity to induce that firm to hire these front companies, on very lucrative terms, for consulting services that prosecutors say were paid for, but never performed. For nearly a decade, the indictment says, the Munshani brothers concealed their ownership of the front companies, while siphoning funds away from Protegrity, cycling the payments through the dummy corporations, and then into their personal bank accounts. They are also accused of creating email accounts that concealed their identities, and allowed them to correspond with Protegrity employees while pretending to be non-existent staff members of the front companies.
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said, “we allege [Suni] Munshani spent the better part of his seven years as CEO of a company setting up contracts with fake companies that he created and with a company in which he held an undisclosed ownership interest, and then pocketed the checks. Much of the money paid to these companies was for services that were never rendered. Not only do we allege Mr. Munshani benefited from this scheme, his brother [Suresh] did as well.”
The narrative contained in the indictment notes that, “Suni Munshani and his brother, Suresh Munshani, carried out a scheme to defraud [Protegrity] of millions of dollars through fraudulent agreements with and money transfers to a purported third-party contractor and a company purportedly controlled by that third-party, but in fact controlled by the defendants. To facilitate the scheme, Suni Munshani, among other things, created an email account… then used that email account to correspond with [Protegrity] concerning services purportedly rendered. Nevertheless, Suni Munshani caused [Protegrity] to pay at least approximately $3 million dollars in total to [the front company], which funds ultimately enriched Suni Munshani and Suresh Munshani. In addition, in furtherance of the scheme, Suni Munshani caused [Protegrity] to issue a check for an additional approximately $3.5 million, which he claimed related to a tax liability of [Protegrity]. In fact, no such tax liability existed and Suni Munshani, with the assistance of Suresh Munshani, also stole this money.”
The indictment alleges that this pattern of fraud was replicated using other front companies (similarly posing as vendors, but secretly controlled by the Munshani brothers) resulting in millions of dollars in additional theft.
At one point, the indictment alleges, Suni Munshani conspired with an accomplice at one of the front companies, which was charging exorbitant fees. This confederate emailed Mr. Munshani with the assurance, “Should be able to defend the rates.” Mr. Munshani is alleged to have replied with an email saying, “OK. Now wire me some money. :)”
Suni Munshani has been charged with three counts of conspiring to commit wire fraud, while Suresh Munshani is charged with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Famed Eatery May Be Evicted from FiDi Space It Has Occupied for 185 Years
A Downtown culinary landmark is facing eviction, a casualty of both the COVID pandemic and damage wrought by last September’s Hurricane Ida, along with a legal feud between its owners. In a story first reported by the online dining newsletter Eater, Delmonico’s, which opened in 1827 and moved to its current location at the corner of Beaver and South William Streets a decade later, is being sued by its landlord for more than $300,000 in back rent.
The Chinatown Ten Appear in Court Following Arrests at Anti-Jail Demonstration
The coalition of ten Lower Manhattan community leaders (including two candidates for public office) who were arrested on the morning of April 13 as they protested the start of demolition at the Manhattan Detention Complex (MDC)—in a preliminary move by the administration of Mayor Eric Adams to replace that facility with the world’s tallest jail—were due in court on Monday morning, to answer summonses for disorderly conduct. Their arrests stemmed from the decision of the group to engage in civil disobedience, by kneeling in the middle of Baxter Street to block construction vehicles from accessing the MDC site.
Plaque Unveiled to Mark Last Year’s Ticker Tape Parade for Essential Workers
Remember when we would lean out our windows at 7pm every day and cheer for the essential workers who were getting us through the pandemic? The new plaque on Broadway marks the 208th ticker tape parade, on July 7, 2021, that was a large-scale version of our appreciation. On that day, confetti rained down from office windows as floats and bands wound their way uptown from Bowling Green in tribute to the men and women whose jobs are critical to our daily lives.
At the unveiling of the new plaque (at 250 Broadway) on April 28, Mayor Eric Adams and Deputy Mayors Lorraine Grillo, Meera Joshi, Maria Torres-Springer, Anne Williams-Isom and Sheena Wright joined Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin and her staff, borough president Mark Levine and City Council member Christopher Marte to again praise essential workers.
MTA group station manager Cherry Wiltshire, U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Feliciano Rafael and Maureen Kreider, nurse practitioner at Con Edison’s Employee Wellness Center, expressed their thanks for the recognition, with Mr. Rafael adding a special shout-out to the children along his route who displayed drawings of gratitude at the height of the pandemic.
Tribeca Loft Buildings to Share a Rooftop Addition
The owners of a pair of adjoining buildings within the Tribeca South Historic District plan to add two stories to top of the pre-Civil War structures, which requires approval from the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The buildings at 62-64 Reade Street (located on the north side of the street, between Broadway and Church Street) are typical of the loft-and-store structures that were common in the neighborhood throughout the nineteenth century.
I started reading your paper regularly last month and discovered something I have not been able to find online: The Arrivals and Departures section!!!
I have searched for a while to see if there was a schedule where I can find out when the cruise ships would be passing by the Colgate Clock and always came up empty.
I have lucked out and occasionally seen them quietly moving up the river in the evening. They are really stunning to see and I was so delighted to see you include that schedule in your paper!
My new Sunday routine is to read your Broadsheet perched on my window sill in the morning and catch up on everything happening in my neighborhood.
New Arts Colony Emerges Half a Mile from Lower Manhattan Shoreline
Governors Island no longer has a “season,” in the sense that Lower Manhattan’s equivalent of Central Park is now open year-around. But spring, and the prospect of summer, are still the highpoint in the annual calendar of this treasured public amenity, and a growing collection of public art has become one of the principal reasons to visit.
Niou and CB1 Push Longer Leases, Caps on Cost Hikes, and a Voice for Residents
State Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou has introduced a pair of bills in the Albany legislature that closely track recent resolutions by Community Board 1 (CB1), and address a trio of issues that have long vexed local leaders.
Many people became rich or richer off the detestable actions of the Third Reich during WWII through the use of Jewish slave labor, seizing Jewish businesses, and equipping the German military. Some of these families are still prominent today, such as the Quandts, who owned BMW. None have acknowledged the dark histories behind their fortunes. In his new book, Nazi Billionaires, David de Jong unearths the history of these well-known companies. Free; suggested $10 donation
Salsa at the Seaport. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on the Heineken Riverdeck with a live band, city skyline views, and Malibu Farm’s taco & tequila specials. Come early to step up your salsa game and receive a lesson from the pros. Free.
Fraunces Tavern Museum webinar about the lives of New York City Jews in the colonial era. We’ll look at community spaces such as the Sephardic Mill Street Synagogue, now known as Shearith Israel and the oldest synagogue in America. We’ll examine the influence of the Gomez and Judah families, the scandal of the Franks family, and the legacy of Haym Soloman’s Revolutionary war financing.
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, BPCA presents The Villalobos Brothers. One of today’s leading Contemporary Mexican ensembles, their original compositions and arrangements masterfully fuse and celebrate the richness of Mexican folk music with the intricate harmonies of jazz and classical music. Free.
On Saturdays and Sundays, visit the exhibitions and the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum for free. At 12 Fulton Street, see “South Street and the Rise of New York” and “Millions: Migrants and Millionaires aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914,” and at Pier 16, explore the tall ship Wavertree and lightship Ambrose.
Singer/songwriter Terre Roche leads this weekly singing program with the beautiful backdrop of the setting sun in NY Harbor. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned crooner, the singing circle is perfect for mellow melodies and healthy harmonizing.
CLASSIFIEDS & PERSONALS
Swaps & Trades, Respectable Employment, Lost and Found
Available for PT/FT. Wonderful person, who is a great worker.
Worked in BPC.
$2.00 per notarized signature.
Lower Manhattan Greenmarkets
Greenwich Street & Chambers Street
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8am-3pm (compost program: Saturdays, 8am-1pm)
Bowling Green Greenmarket
Broadway & Whitehall St
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8am-5pm (compost program: 8am-11am)
The Outdoor Fulton Stall Market
91 South Street, between Fulton & John Streets
Indoor market: Monday through Saturday,11:30am-5pm
CSA pick-up: Thursday, 4pm-6pm; Friday, 11:30-5pm
Outdoor market: Saturday 11:30am-5pm, May through Thanksgiving
Today in History
Voyage 1 spacecraft. Photograph courtesy of NASA.
1260 – Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire
1494 – On his second voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus sees Jamaica
1809 – Mary Kies is the first woman issued a US patent (weaving straw)
1855 – New York City regains Castle Clinton, to be used for immigration
1877 – Sitting Bull leads his band of Lakota into Canada to avoid harassment by the United States Army.
1891 – Music Hall (today, Carnegie Hall), Tchaikovsky as guest conductor
1893 – Panic of 1893: Great crash on NY Stock Exchange
1904 – Cy Young pitches the first perfect game in “modern” baseball as the Boston Americans beat Philadelphia Athletics, 3-0
1912 – Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda begins publishing
1916 – US Marines invade Dominican Republic, stay until 1924
1942 – US begins rationing sugar during WW II
1943 – Postmaster General Frank C Walker invents the Postal Zone System
1944 – Gandhi is freed from prison
1961 – Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space (aboard Freedom 7)
1965 – First large-scale US Army ground units arrive in South Vietnam
1966 – Willie Mays hit his 512th home run
1979 – Voyager 1 passes Jupiter. Voyager 1 is a space probe launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, to study the Solar System and interstellar space. Voyager 1 still communicates with the Deep Space Network to receive routine commands and to transmit data to Earth. Voyager 1 is the most distant artificial object from Earth.
1981 – Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands dies at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland on his 66th day without food
2002 – Jacques Chirac wins the French Presidential election for a second term defeating Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front
2012 – Japan shuts down its nuclear reactors, leaving the country without nuclear power for the first time since 1970
1818 – Karl Marx, philosopher (Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital), (d. 1883)
1865 – Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochran Seaman), journalist and writer (d. 1922)
1988 – Adele (Adele Laurie Blue Adkins), British pop-rock singer-songwriter
1309 – Charles II, the Lame, King of Naples (1285-1309), dies
1821 – Napoleon Bonaparte (1799-1815), dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena
1981 – Bobby Sands, IRA activist/terrorist dies in the 66th day of his hunger strike
2011 – Claude Choules, last surviving World War I veteran (b. 1901)