Arlene Lichtenstein for herself and as the Administratrix of the Estate of Irwin Lichtenstein, deceased, is the plaintiffs in the case. The defendants in the case are Alfred Polizzotto, Florence Polizzotto, Sol Cohen, Al Gallo, and Rosemary whose last name is not known. John Doe 1, 2, and 3 are also defendants in the matter. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York located in New York County. Judge Peter Tom is overseeing the case.
The defendants have moved to have the amended complaint against them dismissed. They state that the complaint does not state a cause action as determined by the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
The plaintiff is accusing the defendant Alfred Polizzotto of converting the assets of the plaintiff and the assets of the Estate of Irwin Lichtenstein for his own personal benefit and use. The plaintiff states he was acting in concert with the other defendants in the matter.
The defendant, Alfred Polizzotto was the attorney for the plaintiff Arlene Lichtenstein and her late husband Irwin Lichtenstein. Her husband passed away in December of 1984. The couple and the defendant were close friends as well and they confided in his judgment.
In 1982, the Lichtensteins entrusted Polizzotto with $255,000 for investment purposes. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the plaintiff states that the defendant told the couple that they would receive an 18% return on the principal sum of money and a 50% return on any interest from mortgage investments or real properties that were acquired.
The plaintiff alleges that from 1982 through 1987 Alfred Polizzotto and the other defendants were all part of a scheme to defraud (white collar crime) the plaintiff and her late husband. She states that the schemes included withdrawing checks from the account and forging the plaintiffs name on the checks without her knowledge. She also states that checks that were issued to the plaintiff were directed to be payable to the defendant. She states the defendant used these funds to acquire business interests and titles to properties in his name and the names of the other defendants for his sole benefit.
The plaintiff has imposed this instant action through the Federal RICO statute stating that the defendant’s pattern of racketeering activity is in violation of section 18 of the United States Constitution. The plaintiff has been injured in her property and business and seeks to recover damages including her attorney’s fees.
Case Discussion and Decision
The question in this case is if the acts in question meet the requirement of continuity of racketeering activity. The plaintiff states that from the year 1982 through 1987 the defendants through wire communications and via the mail transmitted information and materials to further the scheme against the plaintiff and her late husband.
The plaintiff has not provided the court with enough evidence to support when these wire transactions and mailings took place. A Brooklyn Criminal Lawyer said the contention by the defendant that the case should be dismissed is denied. The plaintiff will be given the opportunity to gather evidence to support her RICO case against the defendants. The plaintiff will be able to replead her case within 20 days of this hearing.
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