Just before the Park Avenue Bank went under about ten years ago, a director of the Bank, ie., Mendel Zilberberg, of Monsey, NY, conspired with his buddy Aron Fried, of Toms River, NJ, to use straw borrowers to apply for millions of dollars in fraudulent loans. Park Avenue Bank lent the straw borrowers over a million in loans, one straw borrower was Zilberberg’s unwitting niece, who got over a hundred thousand dollars, which she gave to Zilberberg. Another borrower was Fried’s uncle, who got hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans that were never paid back. The Park Avenue Bank went into bankruptcy and the loans were never paid off. The FDIC investigated the loans and eventually criminal charges were brought against Zilberberg and Fried.
The Zilberberg / Fried criminal trial is expected to start next month. One of the straw borrowers, whose name has not been disclosed by the Government, is expected to appear and testify that he split the loan proceeds with Zilberberg and Fried three ways, and that Fried recruited him by telling him that he had a “friend” in the bank who will get the loan approved. The confidential informant was not charged with any crime.
Zilberberg and Fried pleaded not guilty and are expected to go to trial in Federal Court in Lower Manhattan at the end of next month. Zilberberg, who was also an attorney, was accused of fraud with regard to the drafting of the Last Will and Testament of Meir Silberstein, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 103. Yacov and David Silberstein, the nephews who cared for Silberstein, claim that Mendel Zilberberg, Esq. committed “fraud, duress, mistake and misrepresentation” of their late Uncle Meir’s Last Will and Testament who originally had bequeathed his estate to his two nephews and five charities.
Zilberberg is getting sued in three cases involving claims of fraud related to his actions as an attorney trustee / escrow agent. These cases were brought recently but relate to acts Zilberberg engaged in almost a decade ago before he lost his law license. Zilberberg is getting sued along with Bernard and Gitty Niederman on a million dollar Liberty Pointe bank loan that Zilberberg guaranteed title without listing outstanding liens on the title. Zilberberg is getting sued on a title policy on a loan involving the infamous Harold Tischler, of Boro Park, in which claims were made of undue influence in the transfer of a deed from Esther Tishler to Harold Tishler in which Harold’s sister was the guardian for Esther. Zilberberg is also getting sued in his role as an escrow agent in which a million dollars is unaccounted for.
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If you are contemplating committing a Federal crime, STOP, take a time out, think about what you are about to do, it’s not worth it! I should know, I spent 18 long months in Otisville prison, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud as a closing attorney. The time spent in prison is only half the punishment, waiting for years to be sentenced and incarcerated takes a huge toll on your mental health, not to mention the repercussions after you get out of prison, the problems you will face finding employment and complying with the conditions of Probation. You will never appreciate your freedom until it is taken away from you. God Bless America!