Midwood resident Marcello Trebitsch, the 37-year-old son-in-law of former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for running a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of nearly $6 million over the course of seven years, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced.
Trebitsch pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud for the scam.
“Marcello Trebitsch purported to be an expert investor, but in reality, he lost much of his victims’ money through poor trading and used the rest for personal gain and to pay old victims with new investors’ money,” Bharara said in a press release.
Prosecutors alleged that from 2007 to 2014 Trebitsch swindled at least four clients by providing fake account statements and federal tax forms that reflected significant gains. In reality, prosecutors say Trebitsch suffered enormous losses from the portion of the money he did invest, while using the remainder to pay back other investors and pocket some of the money for himself.
The scheme was carried out through Trebitsch’s investment fund, Allese Capital, LLC, which is registered at his East 14th Street home, near Avenue L.
Trebitsch’s father-in-law Sheldon Silver, the ousted New York State Assembly speaker, was convicted two weeks ago on federal corruption charges, the New York Times reports.
Silver’s daughter, Michelle Trebitsch, a certified public accountant was not charged in the case against her husband.