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Melrose Credit Union CEO Kaufman Gets 46 Months For Bribes Including From CBS Radio

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video, Alamy photos

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 29 – The CEO of Melrose Credit Union Alan Kaufman was arrested at 6 am on July 11, 2019 and presented on bribery charges before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman at 4 pm. Wearing a red polo shirt, he pleaded not guilty.  Inner City Press was there and reported it.

 He agreed to a bail package of a $500,00 bond to be signed by his wife and his son, flying in on July 23 and, among other things, drug testing and treatment if needed. His co-defendant Tony Georgiton must post a $1 million bond and turn in not only his US but also his Greek passport. The next hearing was not until September 4 before SDNY District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. Inner City Press wrote: It's good to be a banker.

On January 11, 2021, Georgiton had his sentencing, and Inner City Press live tweeted it, below.

On March 31, Kaufman was convicted after a jury trial "for participating in a scheme in which KAUFMAN, who was then the Chief Executive Officer of Melrose Credit Union (“Melrose CU”), accepted rent-free housing and financing for the purchase of his personal residence from Tony Georgiton as a reward for the approval of millions of dollars in loans to Georgiton’s companies at favorable terms.  KAUFMAN was also convicted for accepting lavish vacations, including to Paris and Hawaii, from a media company and other vendors, as a reward  for Melrose CU purchasing increased advertising from those companies.  The jury convicted KAUFMAN today following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

Now on September 29, 2021, ALAN KAUFMAN, who at the time of the offense was the chief executive officer of Melrose Credit Union (“Melrose CU”), was sentenced today to 46 months in prison.  KAUFMAN was previously convicted, following a three-week jury trial, of participating in a scheme in which he accepted from Tony Georgiton free housing and hundreds of thousands of dollars in financing for the purchase of his personal residence, after approving millions of dollars in loans to Georgiton’s companies at favorable terms.  KAUFMAN was also convicted for accepting lavish vacations, including to Paris and Hawaii, from CBS Radio after increasing Melrose CU’s advertising purchases at CBS Radio. We aim to have more on this.

Here was the  @SDNYLIVE  sentencing of Tony Georgiton, who bribed Melrose Credit Union CeO Alan Kaufman for refinancing of $60 million in loans including the Melrose Ballroom in Astoria, Queens.

Georgiton's lawyer: There was no quo for the quid. I take my hat off to Mr. Kreiger, he did the research and now there is no remand for restitution, beyond the amount of the actual bribe.

Georgiton's lawyer: They went to Alma Bank and got a loan at a lower rate... In jail right now, the Bureau of Prison is just keeping people locked in a cage.  [From his memo: "When Tony needed financial for his first [taxi] medallion, the broker sent him to MCU."

 Georgiton himself: "I am a good man with a big heart. I have worked hard. I help people, 1000s of drivers in my community. Anyone who came knocking on my door, I help them. I never gave too much emphasis in money. I was born in Greece...

Georgiton: I am going to be 63. I cannot hold any licenses. I cannot sell my house. My partners threw me out of the company [sobbing]. I don't know how I can get out from this. I breaks my heart. This is not what I had in mind when I came to the US.

Assistant US Attorney: Probation is not a sufficient punishment. We have concerns about the acceptance of responsibility. This was the head of a multi million dollar taxi medallion business who paid bribes to the CEO of a billion dollar credit union

AUSA: We are asking for forfeiture of $286,000.

Defense lawyer: May I respond? The rent-free aspect, yes, Mr. Kaufman did not pay rent. But he paid $2000 a month in expenses.

 Judge Kaplan: I understand you have done good things your life. I don't question any of it. But these was not a mistake, nor an error of judgment. It was a longstanding course of conduct that was corrupt, at its heart.

 Judge Kaplan: I sentence you to probation of three years, a fine of $95,000 and forfeit to the US the sum of $286,663.65.

Judge Kaplan: Nine months of the 3 years of probation will be at home, leaving only for medical appointments [and the like]. No drug testing condition. Anything else?

Defense: I want to thank the court. Georgiton: Can I take my wife to the doctor? Judge: Yes.

AUSA has dropped off the line, but he was on when the sentence was announced. Judge Kaplan: we are adjourned.

The case is US v. Georgiton, 19-cr-504 (Kaplan)


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