An optical store owner in Park Slope and an owner of a medical equipment sales dealership have been charged with a 148-count indictment for allegedly stealing about $3.4 million from financial institutions that provided financing for false purchases of medical equipment. The money was allegedly spent extravagantly on gambling escapades in Atlantic city, luxury purchases, a high-end condo rental Battery Park City, and on car lease payments.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson named Maksim Grinberg, 43, and Steven Schuster, 59 as the two main defendants. Grinberg’s estranged wife, Diana Gets, 39, of Sheepshead Bay was also charged with conspiracy.
Grinberg and Gets were owners of DM Optical Inc. (also known as D&M Optical Inc.). Grinberg also owns 9th Street Vision Center. Both businesses are located at 332 9th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Schuster is the owner of MKM-Medical Supplies, a dealership that specializes in sales of medical equipment, which included instruments for eye care as well as eye care examinations.
Between September 2010 and July 2015, the defendants allegedly submitted false documents to at least six financial institutions, including including Sterns Bank, Wells Fargo Equipment Finance and Ascentium Capital.
In doing so, the defendants submitted forged signatures of seven optometrists and ophthalmologists that they attempted to use as loan guarantors. Personal information ranged from the doctors’ date of birth, social security numbers, as well as copies of their driver’s licenses. Since the doctors were listed as guarantors, they could have experienced debt and credit problems when the false loans were not repaid.
District Attorney Thompson explained that the scheme involved Schuster keeping 4% of each transaction, with Grinberg pocketing the remaining funds.
The money was allegedly spent at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City and on luxury items purchased at Saks 5th Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman. In addition the money was used for a high-end condo rental in Battery Park City as well as lease payments on both Mercedes and Audi automobiles.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This long-running scheme allegedly took advantage of banks and leasing companies as well as of hard-working doctors whose identities were stolen so they could be listed as loan guarantors. We investigated this brazen scam, put an end to it and will now hold those responsible accountable.”
Grinberg was arraigned today at Brooklyn Supreme Court, where bail was set at $1 million. Schuster and Gets are expected to surrender on Thursday.