Huebner and Poltorak Diamond Heist

“A review of the Huebner and Poltorak affirmation discloses that each has made penurious and deceitful statements in a transparent effort to defraud this Court and to seek remedies based on materially false and misleading allegations that are unlawful and subject to serious civil and criminal sanctions under the provisions of the very statutes that they cite in support of their frivolous and raise cross-motion.”

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
COUNTY OF KINGS
——————————————-X
DOUGLAS LAPIN and ISABELLE LAPIN,

Plaintiffs,
-against-
Index No. 26970/08
ATTORNEY’S AFFIRMATION

HUEBNER, ESQ. a/k/a PAUL HUEBNER, ESQ.
And LEVI HUEBNER & ASSOCIATES PC,

Defendants
—————————————–X

Ephraim Savitt, attorney for Plaintiffs Douglas Lapin and Isabelle Lapin, affirms under penalty of perjury, and to the best of his information and belief, as follows:

1.     I respectfully submit this affirmation in support of plaintiffs’ motion to award costs and attorney’s fees for sanctions against Levi Huebner and his attorney Elie C. Poltorak and for treble damages against Huebner and Poltorak under Judiciary Law §487 and to dismiss defendants’ cross-motion. A review of the Huebner and Poltorak affirmation discloses that each has made perjurious and deceitful statements in a transparent effort to defraud this Court and to seek remedies based on materially false and misleading allegations that are unlawful and subject to serious civil and criminal sanctions under the provisions of the very statutes that they cite in support of their frivolous and raise cross-motion.

Diamond-Thiefs Paul Huebner and Elie Polorak PC.

2.     I have practiced law for over 30 years. For 8 of those years I was a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of New York. For over 20 years, I have been in private practice, primarily as a criminal defense attorney in federal cases. I also have experience in civil litigation and as counsel in criminal cases in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Long Island. I am not given to exaggeration, hyperbole or histrionics. But I must confess, I have never seen such a confluence of perjury, misleading statements, shoddy advocacy and maliciously-inspired deceit as defendant Huebner and his counsel Elie C. Poltorak have managed to cram into their fraudulent and frivolous motion papers. A few examples of defendant’s and counsel’s materially false allegations will suffice, given the last-minute submission of their cross-motion in which defendant and his lawyer ask, among other things, relief “awarding plaintiffs” costs and attorneys fees treble damages and “such other and further relief” etc. Obviously, Mr. Poltorak was in a rush to submit his improper motion papers at the very last-minute before the October 13th Court date.

3.     It is equally obvious that Mr. Huebner is using this frivolous cross-motion as another dilatory tactic to avoid answering the ultimate question; what did he do with $600,000 worth of jewelry entrusted to him by plaintiffs Douglas and Isabelle Lapin? Huebner wants to duck this question in perpetuity.

Background

4.     This action was commenced by plaintiffs Douglas and Isabelle Lapin, as pro se parties on September 26, 2008, by Order to Show Cause why Levi Huebner and his P.C. law office should not be ordered preliminarily and permanently to be enjoined from transferring, selling, converting or otherwise dissipating of valuable jewelry owned by the plaintiffs. The Order to Show Cause was issued by Honorable Mark I. Partnow on October 14, 2008. Neither Levi Huebner, in his individual capacity nor in his capacity as the sole owner of his law practice ever responded to the Order to Show Cause (which is attached as an exhibit to defendants’ Notice of Cross-Motion and as Exhibit A to this affirmation).

5.     The jewelry that is the subject of the Order to Show Cause was valued at approximately $700,000 in September 2008. They consisted of a Carder-styled diamond necklace with matching; earrings, totaling 63.45 carats and worth well over $500,000; three diamond rings with side-begets, also consisting of high quality stones, worth over $48,000 in the aggregate: and a two carat diamond engagement ring, valued at $86,000.

6.     Douglas Lapin entrusted this jewelry to Huebner in July-August 2008 in order to secure a loan for the payment of extraordinarily costly attorney and litigation fees in a complex arbitration proceeding in Florida in which Lapin was suing a Dominican telecommunications company for $45,000,000 for breach of contract and other claims. Huebner had previously agreed to make an investment in the lawsuit by extending a loan to Lapin to cover some of the attorneys’ fees. Huebner, who is a jeweler and had crafted the above-described jewelry for Lapin and his wife, suggested to Lapin that he could obtain additional financing from other parties if Lapin put up the jewelry as security. Lapin unfortunately agreed and entrusted the jewelry to Huebner.

7.     It soon became apparent that Huebner neither obtained additional “investors’” nor was inclined to return the jewelry. After repeated demands by Lapin, Huebner returned the engagement ring that Lapin had given to his wife when they became engaged. However, after submitting the engagement ring to a jeweler, Lapin was told that the two carat diamond valued at $86,000 had been replaced by a nearly worthless two carat cubic zirconia.

8.     Huebner’s grand larcenous theft prompted Lapin to apply for the Order to Show Cause enjoining Huebner from disposing of the balance of the jewelry, valued at nearly $600,000. When Huebner failed to respond timely to the Order, Lapin, acting as pro se. plaintiff, moved for a default judgment against Huebner and for permanent injunctive relief. The Notice of Motion for a permanent injunction is dated November 21, 2008. (It is an exhibit to defendants’ Cross-Motion papers and is Exhibit B to this affirmation).

9.     Both Douglas Lapin and Levi Huebner are practicing Orthodox -Jews. Lapin offered to resolve his dispute with Huebner through the auspices of a Rabbinical Court, and Huebner agreed. Lapin and his wife retained me to represent them in this action in late November 2008. Elie Poltorak filed his notice of appearance as Huebner’s lawyer in mid-December 2008. By agreement, the parties stipulated to successive adjournments of the Lupins’ pending motion for a default and a permanent injunction while the Rabbinical Court proceedings were underway. I was not involved at all in those proceedings. The last stipulation for an adjournment about a month ago was granted by the Court, which set October 13th as the next court date. The Rabbinical Court, for reasons unknown, has still not rendered a decision regarding the parties’ dispute. The presiding Rabbinical Judge, however, in the last appearance before that tribunal, referred to Huebner as a “goniff” which is the well- known Yiddish idiom for thief.

The Attempted Shakedown

10.     On September 9, 2009, Huebner sent a demand letter announcing that he “now” represented a Joel Schwartz in connection with Schwartz’s “claim” against me for a gold Rolex wristwatch. In his letter, Huebner threatened “legal action and/or a claim” with the lawyers fund for client protection.” (See Exhibit C to this affirmation). This came on the heels of the presiding Rabbinic judge’s assessment that Huebner was a “goniff.”

11.     Joel Schwartz is a convicted drug dealer whom 1 had represented over 10 years ago in an Eastern District case before U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser. He had cheated me by not paying, my fee after I successfully got him released on bail at the onset of his case. He retained another attorney (who was subsequently convicted and disbarred for making false statements to a federal court) who promptly got him into trouble with Judge Glasser in connection with a botched plea deal. Schwartz thereafter retained me, and I worked out a plea agreement that diffused the situation and limited his exposure to prison. He still owed me a $10,000 balance for my fee and agreed to let me take a severely damaged Rolex watch that the FBI did not deem fit for forfeiture and told me to keep it “until” he paid his $10,000 balance. True to his nature, Schwartz also a quintessential “goniff,” never fulfilled his legal obligation or promise to pay the $I0, 000 balance.

12.     Several years ago, Huebner had written a similar demand letter but failed to carry out his similar threats after I responded inciting that Schwartz’s claim was bogus The fact that Huebner resurrected the Schwartz canard after realizing that he was losing ground in the Rabbinical Court made it obvious to me that Huebner was attempting to hamstring me, as attorney for the Lapins. I therefore responded in another letter dated September 14, 2009 (Exhibit “D” to this affirmation.) The letter was sent contemporaneously to Mr. Poltorak as Huebner’s attorney, and to my client Mr. Lapin.

13.     In that letter I make it clear to Mr. Huebner that I would not be “cowered” from nay representation of the Lapins by his “nonsensical extortion attempt,” I also stated that I would not take “hasty action” against him by submitting the matter of  his criminal theft and fraud in wrongfully converting the Lapins’ valuable jewelry and his probable money laundering, tax fraud and failure to report currency transactions, if, as we have learned from certain sources, he was successful in “fencing” the jewelry he had purloined. Instead, I urged him to work out a “civil disposition” by returning the jewelry or the proceeds of their sale to the Lapins “in the context of a Rabbinical court-sponsored settlement”. (Exhibit D, page 3) The only error in my letter, as it turned out, was my reference to Huebner’s lawyer as “your fine attorney Elie Poltorak.” (Id.)

Huebner’s Hubristic Perjury

14.     In support of the Notice of Cross-Motion,  Huebner submitted an Affidavit dated October 5, 2009. In a display of exaggerated fake piety, Huebner avers in a footnote to page 1 of his affidavit that “I submit this affidavit by Affirmation for religious reasons.” Huebner’s purported piety, however, does not insulate him from the penalty of perjury for falsehoods under oath and from sanctions for his false and misleading, statements to this Court. Several examples of his materially false statements are illustrative.

15.     The most egregious of these, and the one that is easiest to disprove, is Huebner’s false assertion in paragraph 11 of his affidavit, to wit: “His [Lapin’s] allegations that I hold his jewelry for him in escrow or that I swindled him are absolutely false.”

1 6.     In fact, Huebner obtained the Lapins’ jewelry under false pretenses and, in a remarkable display of modem alchemy, returned what had been a two carat diamond ring as a two carat zirconia ring. After refusing to return nearly $600,000 worth of the Lapins’ jewelry for what he claims is a $200,000 debt owed to him by Lapin, Huebner exacerbated his criminal conduct by shopping the stolen jewelry to potential purchasers in the ultra-orthodox community. He even had the temerity of identifying the jewelry to a potential buyer as having come from Lapin. Those are facts that can be proven.

17.     Huebner’s perjurious denial regarding the jewelry was contradicted by none other that Huebner himself in a conversation that he had with me in early December 2008 in the courthouse. It was my first appearance as the Lapins’ attorney and before Huebner brought Poltorak into the case. He was representing himself at the time. As we were waiting fur the calendar call, Huebner asked to speak with me in the hallway. After initially declining, several times, I agreed to his repeated overtures. During that discussion, I told Huebner that he was foolish for holding on to my clients’ jewelry. I added that I really did not want to file a criminal complaint against him for his grand larceny which would possibly result in his conviction, loss of license and imprisonment. He responded, in word or substance, that Doug Lapin owed him $200,000 and that he would not answer my demand for the return of the jewelry until he was paid,

18.     A clear indicator that Huebner is a thief and a perjurer is his steadfast refusal, after 10 months of the pending matter, to respond to the Order to Show Cause and his determined opposition to the Lapins’ motion for a permanent injunction. If Huebner’s denial of his possession of the jewelry were true, why would he not have responded 10 months ago to the temporary injunction pursuant to the Order to Show Cause? Why would he need to dodge an injunction to dissipate assets that he never took under false pretenses in the first place?

19.     Huebner also falsely claims in paragraphs 16-17 of his affidavit that “Lapin falsely represented to the Rabbinical Court that he is solely seeking an injunction from this Court,” although the Lapins “are seeking ultimate relief by their motion for an order of default judgment.” I am not sure which world Huebner operates from, but even a casual reading of the court submissions discloses that he is both perjuring himself and may not understand the meaning of a simple request for relief for a permanent injunction by his default. More likely it is a combination of the two.

20.     Although his affidavit is riddled with inaccuracies and falsehoods, perhaps the most shameful is Huebner’s use of his 15 year old child as a fake shield against the service of process. The process servers’ affidavits are part of the record and conveniently included as exhibits to defendants’ Notice of Cross-Motion. In his affidavit the process-server identifies (Exhibit “E” to this affirmation) Rahel as the recipient of the service  Huebner obstructs justice by setting up his 15 year old child Esther as the underage affiant to a false affidavit, again styled as an affirmation “for religious reasons”) that she had accepted process, but told the process-server that she was underage and “did not think that I could accept any legal papers.”(Esther Huebner affidavit, paragraph 2), Does that sound even remotely plausible? Or has her father used her, in a despicably cynical way, in his continued efforts to dodge the legal process and get away with his blatant theft and other crimes?

21.     The hollow claim of improper service is the hallmark of scoundrels who play games with the Court where the merits and the law are against them. After 10 months of submitting to this Court’s Jurisdiction, Huebner’s fronting of his minor child as an exhibit to dodge service of process is nothing less than contemptible. And he has the unbridled chutzpah to have his 15 year old daughter sign a perjurious affidavit. Children should not be punished for the sins of their fathers, to paraphrase a Biblical saying.

22.     Huebner also lied to the Court m suggesting in paragraph 25 of his      Affidavit, that I had initiated direct communications with him about “the within matter.” This falsehood was already addressed by me above. Additionally, to claim, as he did in paragraph 26, that he represents “an individual Joel Schwartz in a civil matter against Mr. Savitt” is the purest form of perjury. In reality, there is no “civil matter” or any other proceeding in which Schwartz, the convicted Ecstasy trafficker, makes a claim against me. Instead, Huebner’s transparent extortionate attempt to Rain some unfair advantage in this case by reviving a 10 year old false claim merits the sanctions against him that we seek.

23.     Huebner’s pious perjury notwithstanding, his false and deceitful claims fit the plain language of Judiciary Law §487 and of the New York Code of Professional Responsibility provisions that are miscited in Mr. Poltorak’s equally misleading affirmation. For that affirmation, Poltorak also deserves the imposition of sanctions and treble damages based on the wasted attorneys hours and fees devoted to responding to his misleading and mean-spirited arguments.

Poltorak’s Perfidious Deceit

24.     Poltorak’s affirmation is a study in harmony between poor lawyering and an overabundance of false assertions. In addition to parroting many of Huebner’s perjurious claims (which is not surprising given their common authorship), Poltorak cynically seeks sanctions against a fellow attorney based on Code of Professional Responsibility sections that either do not apply altogether, or apply solely to him and to his deceitful client.

25.     For instance, Poltorak should know by now that Huebner struck the first and only foul blow in this saga by his ill-conceived demand letter. Instead, he cites provisions involving the improper communication to a party, which my responsive letter to Huebner with a contemporaneous copy to Poltorak plainly was not, He also cites to a provision barring the “threat to present criminal charges solely to obtain an advantage in a civil matter.” A plain reading of my September 14th letter discloses that I urge an amicable settlement, which includes the return of the jewelry he wrongfully withheld from my clients. As to the litigation “advantage” I purportedly seek, can Poltorak please explain what that would be? A permanent injunction to prevent his client from disposing of jewelry that he denies possessing? And why is it improper to contemplate referral of this matter to the local or federal prosecutors and or the Character Committee? Is Huebner immune to prosecution and disbarment for his serious criminal actions?

26.     Equally trivial is Poltorak’s claim that I threatened his client with coercion—and violated the rule forbidding exposure of a secret or publicizing an asserted fact” subjecting “some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule.” I neither “coerced” Huebner nor did I publicize my September 14th letter responding to Huebner’s attempted coercion. The letter was only sent to Poltorak, Huebner and to Mr. Lapin, who as my client, is entitled to see any correspondence that may affect his ease. Instead, it was the collective wisdom of Poltorak and Huebner to make my September 14th letter publicly available as an exhibit to a court submission. If anyone has subjected Huebner to well-deserved “haired, contempt or ridicule” in a publicly available document, it was the misguided action of Huebner himself, assisted by his “fine attorney.”

27.     I will not bother to address Poltorak’s other claims, including his insupportable claim of lack of service and his silly contention that “the complaint” should be dismissed because we railed to file a complaint in response to his demand last December. Apart from the non-sequitor of that argument, Poltorak willingly signed stipulations of adjournment, mostly at his own initiation, while the Rabbinical Court investigated and ruled on the merits of the Lapin v. Huebner claims. For him to claim a default 10 months after the fact, requiring the dismissal of a complaint that was not filed, is as nonsensical as it sounds.

28.     Poltorak’s claim that my behavior “should not be countenanced” under Judiciary Law §487 displays a combination of woeful ignorance and transparent deceit. That statute provides that an attorney is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to forfeiture of treble damages in one of two instances: 1) Deceit or collusion with intern to deceive the Court or any party, or 2) Delay of his client’s lawsuit “with a view to his own gain.” Neither prong of Judiciary Law §487 applies to my conduct. Instead, the materially misleading presentations by attorneys Huebner and Poltorak plainly satisfy the first prong of §487, requiring the specified sanctions for their blatant attempt to deceive this Court, delay and obstruct justice and their maliciously false accusations.

WHEREFORE, the undersigned respectfully requests that the Court grant the relief sought in the accompanying NOTICE OF MOTION.

Dated: New York, New York
October 12, 2009

EPHRAIM SAVITT, ESQ.
Attorney for Plaintiffs
Douglas Lapin and Isabelle Lapin

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

Exhibit E

Lapin Vs. Huebner Original Motion

Related: Satan Caught Stealing


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8 Responses to “Huebner and Poltorak Diamond Heist”

  1. In the know Says:

    this Polotrak guy is going to destroy Crown Heights!
    He is dangerous and we must get rid of him, hes not going away.

    We voted him out and hes still sticking around,
    what do we do?

  2. john doe Says:

    Ha ha ha! poltocrack, lawyer for ‘Defendant huebner’ asks the judge to…. “awarding plaintiffs” costs and attorneys fees treble damages and “such other and further relief.
    If I were the judge I would grant that part of the motion in a jiffy.

  3. awacs Says:

    Item 9. “gong” s/b “goniff.”

    Item 6.: “panics” probably s/b ‘parties’.

    “penurious”
    Please tell me that Ephraim really wrote “perjurious” and spell-check ‘fixed’ it. Penurious means cheap or stingy.

    Exhibit “A” is missing a page – items 13 to 18, and the page beginning with “19.” is doubled.

    • WhoIsShmira? Says:

      Thanks, I will correct these mistakes.

      At least We know that there is someone out there who actually takes the time to read, which is a good thing. At least when you say something you know what your talking about.

  4. shocked Says:

    I cant believe this, how do people get away with these thing?

  5. awacs Says:

    “At least We know that there is someone out there who actually takes the time to read, which is a good thing. At least when you say something you know what your talking about.”

    Well, I don’t have a dog in this race. As I’m sure you’re aware (if you are who I think you are), I’ve helped both sides at times in the past.

    But this story ….wow. Just … wow. No words for this. You can’t make stuff like this up, if you tried.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    so when is huebner going to go to jail already we cant wait

  7. moshe pupick Says:

    I knew these heubner and paltodrek characters were bad for the community and are 2 big scumbags. Just didn’t realize they’re dumb and stupid to boot and probably won’t last to long in the legal world.

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