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NEW YORK MAN CHARGED WITH OFFENSES RELATING TO FRAUDULENT GUARDIANSHIP OF ELDERLY RELATIVE

THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A New York man was charged today in federal court with offenses relating to fraudulent guardianship of an elderly relative.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Susan Dukes, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation - Boston Field Office, announced today that MICHAEL OSTROWSKI, 41, of East Patchogue, New York was charged in an Indictment with various charges relating to his abuse of a guardianship in Franklin County, Mass. OSTROWSKI was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud; three counts of mail fraud; one count of interstate transportation of stolen property; one count of receipt, possession, concealment and disposition of stolen property having crossed a state boundary; two counts of engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity; and one count of failure to file an income tax return.

The Indictment alleges that OSTROWSKI was the grandson of S.O., who resided in Greenfield, Mass., until S.O.'s hospitalization on or about June 6, 2006. Thereafter, S.O. resided primarily in hospitals or nursing homes in Massachusetts. Between on or about June 20, 2006 and March 6, 2007, OSTROWSKI was the temporary guardian for S.O. As temporary guardian for S.O., OSTROWSKI was required to manage his assets and administer his estate in the best interests of S.O.

Instead, OSTROWSKI allegedly engaged in a conspiracy to defraud MassHealth, S.O., and the estate of S.O. by spending the assets of S.O. and administering the estate of S.O. for his benefit, rather than for the benefit of S.O., thereby forcing MassHealth to pay for S.O.'s care. In furtherance of this scheme to defraud, OSTROWSKI allegedly misappropriated the assets of S.O., materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and omissions to the Franklin Family and Probate Court concerning his temporary guardianship, made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and omissions to MassHealth regarding the disposition of S.O.'s assets, and made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements to his successor temporary guardian and to an elder care protective services worker concerning the disposition of S.O.'s assets in order to conceal the existence of certain of S.O.'s assets.

It is alleged that on or about August 29, 2006, in Greenfield, Massachusetts, OSTROWSKI and another person liquidated a bank account belonging to S.O. that was worth more than $250,000, and then on or about September 1, 2006, OSTROWSKI transported the cash across state lines from Massachusetts to New York. It is alleged that between September 1, 2006 to June 26, 2008, OSTROWSKI possessed, concealed, and spent substantial portions of, the cash. On October 30, 2006 and February 5, 2008, OSTROWSKI allegedly engaged in two cash transactions of more than $10,000 that was derived from specified unlawful activity, namely, mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, and receipt, possession, concealment, and disposition of stolen property having crossed a state boundary. Lastly, the Indictment alleges that OSTROWSKI willfully failed to file a federal income tax return for the calendar year 2006.

If convicted on these charges, OSTROWSKI faces the following maximum penalties: five years imprisonment, three years supervised release, and fine of $250,0000 on the conspiracy charge; 20 years imprisonment, three years supervised release, and fine of $250,0000 on the mail fraud charges; 10 years imprisonment, three years supervised release, and fine of $250,0000 on the stolen property charges and the monetary transaction charge; and one year imprisonment, one year supervised release, and fine of $25,0000 on the tax charge.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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