Press Releases

QUEENS COUPLE INDICTED ON SEX TRAFFICKING AND OTHER CHARGES FOR TRANSPORTING WOMEN FROM KOREA AND FORCING THEM INTO PROSTITUTION

March 11, 2021

            Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced that Jung Ja Ornstein, 62, and Eric Ornstein, 49, have been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on sex trafficking charges and other crimes for allegedly bringing two female victims from Korea and coercing them to…

THREE PROFESSIONAL TAX PREPARERS IN QUEENS CHARGED WITH FRAUD FOR FILING FALSE RETURNS THAT CHEATED CITY AND STATE

March 11, 2021

Defendants Worked at Two Unrelated Businesses in Flushing and Woodside; The Accused Allegedly Forged Signatures and Outright Lied on Returns to Downplay Tax Liability for Clients  Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael R. Schmidt, today announce that Yachun Lin of ETS Tax Services and Nayib…

SCAM AWARENESS AND FRAUD PROTECTION WEBINAR MEDIA ADVISORY

March 9, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is sponsoring a Scam Awareness and Fraud Protection virtual event tomorrow, Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. The event will include several legal experts from the District Attorney’s Office and partner tax advocates and specialists. The program will also be available in Spanish and Mandarin. The Queens…

QUEENS COUNTY GRAND JURY INDICTS CAR WASH EMPLOYEE ON VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER AND DRUNK DRIVING CHARGES IN DEATH OF WOMAN STRUCK WHILE WALKING TO HER JUST-CLEANED AUTO

March 9, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that a Queens County grand jury has indicted Edwin Vargas Tabares, 43, who was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on vehicular manslaughter and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol charges. The defendant was allegedly intoxicated while working at an Ozone Park car wash business and struck…

QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEY FILES JOINT MOTION WITH DEFENSE TO VACATE CONVICTIONS IN 1996 DOUBLE MURDER CASE BASED ON FAILURE TO DISCLOSE EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE

March 5, 2021

Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced the filing of a joint motion with defense counsel to vacate the convictions of George Bell, Gary Johnson, and Rohan Bolt, who were convicted of the December 21, 1996, murders of Ira “Mike” Epstein and NYPD Police Officer Charles Davis in the course of robbing Mr. Epstein’s…

GRAND JURY INDICTS QUEENS RESIDENT IN HIT AND RUN CRASH THAT KILLED GOOD SAMARITAN WHO STOPPED TO HELP MAN HAVING CAR TROUBLE

March 4, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Kevin Drawhorne, 27, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on criminally negligent homicide charges and other crimes for allegedly hitting and killing one man and injuring another on January 29, 2021. The victim was a Good Samaritan who had…

QUEENS MAN CHARGED WITH STEALING $11,000 IN TEXT MESSAGE SCAM TO DECEASED MAN’S SISTER IN IRELAND

February 25, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Frederick Gilbert, 53, has been charged with grand larceny, identity theft and other crimes for allegedly stealing $11,000 from a woman in Ireland by using her dead brother’s cell phone to convince her he was her sibling – and then repeatedly requesting she send him money in…

QUEENS HOME HEALTH AIDE CHARGED WITH STEALING NEARLY $100,000 FROM LEGALLY BLIND 89-YEAR-OLD WOMAN

February 24, 2021

Defendant Allegedly Duped Victim into Signing Checks That Greatly Exceeded Weekly Pay; Accused Faces Up to 15 Years in Prison if Convicted Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Sita Saunders, 61, has been charged with grand larceny, identity theft and other crimes for allegedly siphoning nearly $100,000 from her legally blind, 89-year-old patient’s…

CAR WASH EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE AND DRUNK DRIVING IN DEATH OF WOMAN STRUCK WHILE WALKING TO HER JUST-CLEANED AUTO

February 16, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Edwin Vargas, 43, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving for allegedly being intoxicated while working at an Ozone Park car wash business and striking a woman and killing her as he drove a vehicle off the cleaning rack Monday afternoon. District Attorney Katz said,…

QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEY MELINDA KATZ HOSTS LUNAR NEW YEAR VIRTUAL EVENT

February 16, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is sponsoring a Lunar New Year virtual event this Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5 p.m. via Zoom. The District Attorney will honor several community leaders and the livestreamed event will also feature live cultural performances. Lunar New Year 2021- the Year of the Ox -will be celebrated around the…

QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE SEIZES 1.7 MILLION PIECES OF COUNTERFEIT PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT FROM WAREHOUSE; BROOKLYN MAN CHARGED WITH FELONY FOR POSSESSING BOGUS PPE

February 11, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that an investigation by her Office’s Frauds Bureau resulted in the seizure of 1.7 million counterfeit 3M N95 respirator masks from a Long Island City warehouse before they could be distributed to the public. Detectives from the Queens District Attorney’s Office arrested Zhi Zeng, 33, of Dyker Heights,…

MAN INDICTED ON ROBBERY AND ASSAULT CHARGES FOR PURSE SNATCHING THAT INJURED ELDERLY WOMAN IN FOREST HILLS

February 11, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Alhusene Danso, 20, has been arraigned in Supreme Court following a Queens County grand jury handing up an indictment charging the defendant with robbery and assault for a vicious attack on an octogenarian. The victim was attacked as she exited her parking garage in Forest Hills on…

CELEBRITY PERSONAL SHOPPER CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING COMEDIAN KEVIN HART OUT OF MORE THAN $1 MILLION IN FRAUDULENT CREDIT CARD PURCHASES

February 10, 2021

Queens County Grand Jury Indicts Defendant on Grand Larceny and Other Charges; Defendant Allegedly Used Comedian’s Credit Card to Purchase Luxury Items and Enrich Himself; Queens Man Faces Up to 25 Years in Prison if Convicted

QUEENS MAN INDICTED FOR MURDER IN STABBING DEATH OF HIS 72-YEAR-OLD FATHER

February 4, 2021

                Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jaimie Walker, 30, has been indicted by a Queens grand jury charging him with murder and other crimes in the death of his 72-year-old father. The defendant was arraigned in Supreme Court today for allegedly beating and stabbing his father multiple times with a pair of scissors…

QUEENS MAN INDICTED FOR MURDER IN STABBING DEATH OF HIS 72-YEAR-OLD FATHER

February 4, 2021

While in Custody, Defendant Allegedly Damaged Precinct Interview Room; Faces Up to 25 Years-to-Life in Prison if Convicted

QUEENS MAN SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER IN STABBING DEATH

February 3, 2021

 Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that John Daves, 34, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter for the September 2018 stabbing death of a 25-year-old Long Island man. The two men had a heated dispute near a food cart in Jackson Heights, Queens. District Attorney Katz said,…

QUEENS MAN SENTENCED TO 17 YEARS IN PRISON AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER IN STABBING DEATH

February 3, 2021

Defendant Killed Long Island Resident with Knife Snatched from Food Cart

QUEENS DA MELINDA KATZ HOLDS VIRTUAL PANEL DISCUSSION ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING: RESOURCES AND INTERVENTION STRATEGIES

January 30, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz sponsored a Human Trafficking Awareness virtual event via Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook with legal experts and several community service providers to explain the warning signs of sex and labor trafficking. The participants also discussed the unique approaches and resources available to trafficking survivors who reach out for support. District…

QUEENS DA MELINDA KATZ CREATES NEW BUREAU TO ENHANCE AND EXPAND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE PROGRAMS

January 22, 2021

District Attorney Melinda Katz today announced the creation of a new Bureau to enhance and expand restorative justice programs and units within the Queens DA’s Office and the appointment of Aisha Greene as its Bureau Chief. District Attorney Katz said, “The Rehabilitation Programs and Restorative Services Bureau is a fulfillment of my promise to ensure…

CHURCH DEACON CHARGED WITH TRYING TO HAVE ORAL SEX WITH 14-YEAR-OLD BOY HE MET ON GRINDR APP

January 22, 2021

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Rogelio Vega, 50, has been charged with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and other crimes for allegedly meeting a “teen” with the intent to engage in a sex act. District Attorney Katz said, “This defendant by all outward appearances is a church-going family…

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