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Handlers Indicted For Day Care Fraud Now Curcio Request Redacted Because Grand Jury

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell book

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 14 – Isidore Handler, Martin Handler, Menachem Lieberman, Harold Schwartz and Ben Werczberger were indicted and then presented on January 11 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger.

Inner City Press was there, the only media in the Mag Court. There was an argument about the defendants phones being searched, see below.

  The charges include wire fraud, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

The indictment, while ordered unsealed on January 11, was still not in PACER - in its place were two copies of the order to unseal. Inner City Press has obtained and published it on its DocumentCloud, here. 

Summary: They are charged with participating in schemes to steal millions of dollars from government-funded childcare programs for low-income families, including by stealing proceeds from a fake after-school program that received millions in funding and by using funds to purchase private real estate, items at auction, and a luxury vehicle.

  The defendants were ordered released on bond on January 11.

There was an argument about phones seized from the defendants. Defense counsel wanted to litigate before any search warrant can be obtained. But Assistant US Attorney Daniel Wolf said the issue wasn't ripe, that they could move to suppress later. 

 Judge Lehrburger recommended that defense counsel write a letter to the assigned District Judge Jennifer H. Rearden.

On January 18, they did, arguing that "the government has not set forth the basis for the agents' belief that - at the time of the seizure - they had probable cause to believe that these specific phones contained evidence of criminality." And some phones, they say, were not in plain view. Motion on Patreon here

On January 19, Judge Rearden held the arriagnment, and moved on to trial date. Inner City Press thread here, more on Patreon here

On March 14, 2023, the US Attorney's Office docketed redacted letters as to Martin Handler and Martin Lieberman, asserting their lawyers have conflicts of interest - that could be waived - with the blacked out material said to "address ongoing non-public matters before the grand jury." Can they hold a Curcio hearing which does not disclose the conflicts? Watch this site.

Inner City Press will continue to cover this case.

The case is US v. Handler, et al., 23-cr-4 (Rearden / Lehrburger)


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