BOSTON - A NY man was convicted today in U.S. District Court on various charges relating to his role as temporary guardian of his grandfather.
Michael Ostrowski, 42, of East Patchogue, NY pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor 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.
Had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that 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 his 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 to defraud, Ostrowski misappropriated over $300,000 of his grandfather’s liquid assets. Ostrowski further 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 and 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 grandfather’s assets.
Further, on Aug. 29, 2006, in Greenfield, Mass. Ostrowski liquidated a bank account belonging to his grandfather that was worth more than $250,000, and then on Sept. 1, 2006, Ostrowski caused his grandfather’s cash to be transported across state lines from Mass. to NY. Between Sept. 1, 2006 and June 26, 2008, Ostrowski possessed, concealed, and spent substantial portions of his grandfather’s cash. On Oct. 30, 2006 and Feb. 5, 2008, Ostrowski 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, Ostrowski willfully failed to file a federal income tax return for the calendar year 2006, including the income that he derived from this fraudulent activity.
Ostrowski faces up to five years in prison to be followed by three years supervised release and fine of $250,000 on the conspiracy charge; up to 20 years in prison to be followed by up to three years of supervised release and fine of $250,000 on the mail fraud charges; up to 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and fine of $250,000 on the stolen property charges and the monetary transaction charge; and one year in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release and fine of $25,000 on the tax charge.
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. Judge Ponsor scheduled sentencing for April 25, 2012. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.
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