Who Withdrew $1 Million from Murdered Businessman's Account?
Curiouser and curiouser: the murder investigation of businessman and father Menachem Stark took a new twist Tuesday, when it was revealed that over $1.2 million of "unauthorized" withdrawals were made from his Capital One account in the weeks after he died.
Newsday reported Tuesday that the withdrawals surfaced in files submitted by a mortgage company in a bankruptcy court. Court papers revealed that Stark's account had been flush with as much as $1.8 million in recent months but had dropped to $190,347 by January 9, 2014 - six days after his badly burned body was found in a Long Island dumpster.
Last week, police stated to the New York Daily News that they are convinced Stark's business partner has been lying to them during the investigation, using a Russian businessman as a scapegoat.
Interestingly, Newsday now claims that the man has been cooperating with police, and that detectives have reportedly told him that he "is not a suspect" in the case, according to the man's lawyer Henry Mazurek.
But police also believe that some businessmen Stark associated with were involved, and that he was accidentally suffocated to death during an attempt to restrain him. Resentment may have been directed at Stark, police say, also noting that he may have been running a foreclosure scheme - buying foreclosed properties at low prices and then selling them to his own associates at highly reduced rates.
In addition, a smartphone not belonging to Stark has now been found in Stark's car. Police have stated their belief that the phone was not being used as a tracking device, but that they are also searching for its owner and its connection to the case.
Stark was reportedly sued in 2011 over a $29 million loan that financed a 74-unit residential rental building at 100 South 4th Street in south Williamsburg, TheReal Deal reported. Family members acknowledged that Stark was involved in several large real estate deals, but said the family knows of no bad blood that could have sparked the kidnapping.
The investigation also revealed that Stark felt he was being stalked in the days preceding his murder.
Family members have also stated that they are not looking for revenge, and that they feel the murder was "an act of G-d" (verbatim). Stark's family announced Monday a $25,000 reward for finding Stark's killer, and a prominent Brooklyn rabbi appealed to the public for help with the investigation.