BOSTON - A New York man was sentenced in federal court to two years in prison for various charges relating to his fraudulent abuse of the court-appointed guardianship of his elderly grandfather.
Michael Ostrowski, 42, of East Patchogue, N.Y., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor to two years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Ostrowski was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $100,459 to MassHealth and $85,751 to the Internal Revenue Service. Judge Ponsor also ordered forfeiture of $179,500 in cash; a Sony Bravia flat-panel television; a 39mm semi-automatic assault rifle; and a 2006 GMC Sierra pickup truck, all of which he had purchased with the proceeds of his fraud.
On Jan. 9, 2012, Ostrowski pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud; mail fraud; interstate transportation of stolen property; receipt, possession, concealment and disposition of stolen property having crossed a state boundary; engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity; and failure to file an income tax return.
On June 20, 2006, Ostrowski became the temporary guardian for his grandfather, who was incapacitated with dementia. As temporary guardian for his grandfather, Ostrowski was required to manage his assets and administer the estate in his grandfather’s best interests. Instead, Ostrowski engaged in a conspiracy to defraud MassHealth and his grandfather by spending his grandfather’s assets for the benefit of himself and others, rather than for his grandfather’s benefit, thereby forcing MassHealth to pay for his grandfather’s care.
In furtherance of this scheme, Ostrowski misappropriated over $300,000 of his grandfather’s liquid assets. Ostrowski lied to the Franklin Family and Probate Court concerning his temporary guardianship, lied to MassHealth regarding the disposition of his grandfather’s assets, and lied to his successor temporary guardian. He also lied to an elder care protective services worker concerning the disposition of his grandfather’s assets in order to conceal the existence of certain of his assets.
On Aug. 29, 2006, Ostrowski liquidated a bank account belonging to his grandfather that was worth more than $250,000. He later transported the cash across state lines from Mass. to N.Y. Ostrowski willfully failed to file a 2006 federal income tax return, including the income that he derived from this fraudulent activity.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office. The investigation was conducted by the IRS with the assistance of the Massachusetts State Police.