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Press Release

Long Island Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years’ Imprisonment for Stealing More Than $1 Million From Dead Woman’s Estate and For Possession of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Filed a Fraudulent Will to Have Victim’s Body Cremated and Her Estate Transferred to Him

John Derounian was sentenced today in federal court in Central Islip by United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack to 51 months’ imprisonment for mail fraud and 70 months’ imprisonment for possession of child pornography, to run consecutively, for a total sentence of 121 months’ imprisonment.  The Court also ordered him to pay $1,403,209.17 in restitution for his theft of more than $1.2 million from the estate of a deceased victim (Jane Doe), and a $10,000 fine.  Derounian pleaded guilty to the charges in June 2018.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, New York Division (USPIS), announced the sentence.

“Derounian’s crimes were unconscionable and today’s sentence is well deserved,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. 

“When it comes to evil deeds, there is nothing more despicable than preying on children and robbing the dead. Today’s sentence is a lesson in karma and justice; when you break the law, your crimes will eventually be exposed,” stated USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Bartlett. 

On November 12, 2015, Derounian claimed to have found the body of his tenant, Jane Doe, inside her Sea Cliff residence.  He then telephoned and emailed employees at Morgan Stanley, in an attempt to obtain over $200,000 from Doe’s account.  As a further part of the scheme, Derounian forged a will naming himself executor and sole beneficiary of Doe’s estate, had the body of Doe cremated, sold Doe’s real property for over $1 million, and transferred the proceeds into bank accounts he controlled.            

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal and Civil Divisions.  Assistant United States Attorney Mark E. Misorek is in charge of the prosecution, and Assistant United States Attorney Robert W. Schumacher of the Office’s Civil Division is handling matters relating to forfeiture.

The Defendant:

Age:  51
Sea Cliff, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 16-412 (S-1) (JMA)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated June 6, 2019

Financial Fraud