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United States v. Michael Mendlowitz and Richard D. Hart, 17 Cr. 248 (VSB)

Defendant Richard Hart is scheduled to enter a plea of guilty to a superseding Information in this case on January 10 at 3:00. The plea is scheduled to take place before United States District Judge Vernon S. Broderick, in Courtroom 518 of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse at 40 Foley Square, New York, New York.  Sentencing is expected to be scheduled for approximately three to four months in the future. Prior to sentencing, all victims have the right to submit victim-impact statements to the Court.

A trial is scheduled to begin in United States v. Michael Mendlowitz & Richard D. Hart on April 29, 2019 at 10:00 AM in Federal District Court Southern District of New York, 40 Foley Square New York, New York.  

On May 2, 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office announced the unsealing of federal felony charges against MICHAEL MENDLOWITZ, a/k/a “Moshe Mendlowitz,” and RICHARD D. HART, a/k/a “Rick Hart,” on charges of fraudulently operating a payment card processing company that operated under various names including “Commerce Payment Systems,” “Commerce Payment Group,” “Merchant Commerce,” “Empire Payments,” “Evolution Bankcard,” and “Optimal Bankcard” (collectively referred to herein as “CPS”). MENDLOWITZ, the chief executive officer and part owner of CPS, and HART, a CPS vice president and director of sales and the president of a number of CPS affiliated companies, are charged with masterminding a fraudulent scheme between at least 2010 and July 2015, which took more than $30 million from more than 12,000 small businesses, who were customers that relied upon CPS to for credit card and debit card processing services.

The charges are contained in Indictment 17 Cr. 248. You may view a copy of the Indictment here.

An initial pretrial conference was held in the case on May 2, 2017, and the next conference is scheduled for July 14, 2017 at 12:00 noon before the Honorable Vernon S. Broderick, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, New York.

Updates regarding the progress of this case will be posted on this site.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims. If you believe you are a victim of the offense charged, our Victim/Witness Unit can make sure that you are notified of important stages of the case to help you exercise your rights. In addition, our Victim/Witness Unit can help refer you to agencies that provide other services to witnesses, such as compensation (under certain circumstances) and counseling. If you believe you are a victim, of if you would like information or assistance with referrals, please contact:

Wendy Olsen Clancy
Victim/Witness Coordinator
United States Attorney's Office
One St. Andrew's Plaza
New York, New York 10007
(866) 874-8900

Updated January 9, 2019