Sheldon Silver’s daughter may be charged in husband’s Ponzi scheme

Julie Wiener

NEW YORK (JTA) — The daughter of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver reportedly will likely face charges in her husband’s alleged $7 million Ponzi scheme.

Michelle Trebitsch, whose husband, Marcello Trebitsch, was arrested by the FBI and indicted on Monday in Manhattan federal court, may also be implicated in the fraud, the New York Post reported, citing an unidentified law enforcement source.

Trebitsch, a certified public accountant, is accused of meeting in 2009 with the developer that her husband is accused of defrauding and saying she was co-owner of her husband’s investment fund, according to court papers, the Post reported. She is also accused of allowing her husband to transfer stolen funds into accounts in her name.

Marcello Trebitsch was charged with wire fraud and securities fraud and released on $500,000 bail. He could face up to 40 years in jail and $5.25 million in fines.

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In the five-year scheme, which collapsed in December, Marcello Trebitsch allegedly promised up to 16 percent returns with very minimal risk for the investors who put their money in low cap stocks. He allegedly invested only a portion of the money and used the rest for personal benefit and to repay other investors, the complaint said.

Silver, who served as speaker of the New York State Legislature for more than two decades, resigned in January following his arrest in an anti-corruption investigation. He remains an Assembly member representing a district that includes Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where he lives. Silver is a longtime friend of former Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty CEO William Rapfogel, who is in prison for embezzling from the organization. Rapfogel’s wife, Judy, works as Silver’s chief of staff.

The charges against Marcello Trebitsch are not connected to those against Silver.