Volume 79, Number 31 | January 6 - 12, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Police Blotter

Trader twins busted

Twin brothers living in the East Village were indicted on Dec. 29 for stealing more than $2 million over a five-year period ending June 4, 2009, in a stock-trading swindle, the Manhattan district attorney said.

Makara and Tsele Nkhereanye, both 38, who live with their mother at 83 Second Ave. at E. Fifth St., misrepresented themselves as successful stock traders to more than 30 victims, according to the indictment. The brothers used a Fidelity Investments account to trade in risky “penny stocks,” but told their victims the stocks were safe. Despite losses, the brothers told victims they were earning big profits, but the returns that investors received were from their own principal or money from other investors, the indictment says. When one investor asked for his account statement, the defendants forged a Fidelity statement, the indictment says. In February 2009, Fidelity closed the brothers’ account because of trading irregularities, so they opened a new account at TD Ameritrade.

As the scheme began to fall apart, the Nkhereanye brothers told victims they would invest their funds in gold, purporting to yield returns of 100 percent. The fraudulent offer lured several new investors, the indictment says. The defendants used the victims’ money to pay other victims and to pay their own personal expenses, according to the charges. The Nkhereanye brothers pleaded not guilty at their Dec. 29 arraignments, and were paroled pending a Feb. 23 court appearance on grand larceny, securities fraud, forgery and scheme-to-defraud charges.


Papaya rage

A man who walked into Papaya Dog, at 333 Sixth Ave. at W. Fourth St., at 2:15 p.m. Mon., Jan. 4, began harassing customers and pulled a knife on an employee who asked him to leave, police said. The employee sustained a cut on his finger and the suspect fled.


Who has the bag?

A man who walked into the TD Bank branch at 155 Canal St. near Bowery at 1:30 p.m. Sat., Jan. 2, told a teller he had a gun. The teller gave him an unspecified sum of cash in a bag with a dye pack, police said. The suspect dropped the bag as he was fleeing when the dye pack exploded, but police who were giving chase soon arrested Claudio Mojica, 39, and charged him with robbery. However, an unidentified man picked up the bag with the red-ink-stained money and made off with it, according to reports.


Ex-Net hits tree

Jayson Williams, the former New Jersey Nets basketball star involved in the 2002 shooting death in New Jersey of his limousine driver, refused to take an alcohol breathalyzer test at 3:15 a.m. Tues., Jan. 5, after he hit a tree while driving a black Mercedes-Benz S.U.V. near the exit of the F.D.R. Drive at E. 18th St. and Avenue C, police said. Williams was taken to Bellevue Medical Center for lacerations to his head. The Daily News and Post reported that Williams fractured his neck, but was not paralyzed. He faces possible criminal drunk-driving charges. Williams grew up on the Lower East Side.


‘Just the cash’

Two women walking on the northeast corner of Fifth Ave. and Ninth St. at 1:55 a.m. Sun., Dec. 20, were approached from across the street by a man with his hand in his pocket as if he had a gun. “This is a stickup,” he said. The victims offered their wallets, but he said, “Just the cash,” and they gave him a total of $100. He took the money with the hand that he had in his pocket and fled, police said.


Knife in subway

A New York City Transit officer spotted a man at 3:05 a.m. Thurs., Dec. 17, at the end of a platform in the Eighth Ave. subway station at 14th St. in an area closed to the public behind a gate with a “No Trespassing” sign, police said. The suspect, Trenus Calitxte, 49, was carrying a switchblade knife and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, police said.


Bank skimmers

Police are looking for two suspects who installed a device in an A.T.M. at a Bank of America branch on Lafayette St. near Houston St. on Dec. 9 and used the device to steal information from customers. The suspects put the data on cloned debit cards, which they used to withdraw money from accounts in at least four other branches, according to police.

Albert Amateau

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