Maxxed Out Credit Line

Even before certain neighborhoods in Palestine began lamenting and/or celebrating the long-overdue passing of Ariel Sharon, other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, USA were lamenting and/or celebrating the death of a man who never even had the opportunity to benefit from Israel’s generous extradition policies.

Two masked men grabbed New York City real estate developer Menachem “Max” Stark outside his office late on the snowy night of January 2 and shoved him into a waiting minivan.  His burned body turned up a day later in a smoldering trash bin, 30 miles away in suburban Great Neck, Long Island.

Great Neck Dumpster = message to his sponsors

Great Neck Dumpster = message to his sponsors

Video surveillance footage showed [a suspect] parking the white Dodge Caravan with Ohio license plates … in front of 315 Rutledge St., just down the block from Stark’s real estate office, shortly before 5 pm on January 2.  Witnesses have described the Caravan driver as white, apparently of European descent and between 5-foot-10 and 6 feet tall.

“It’s unlikely that minivan would have made it out to Long Island,” said a law enforcement source.  “The weather was horrible that night. The Long Island Expressway was closed. It would have been a real challenge for [the kidnappers] to get out there.”

Stark and his business partners owned and renovated buildings throughout Brooklyn as the borough became increasingly trendy. Court records show they often borrowed money from banks to finance new ventures.  But they filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Stark and his primary business partner, Israel Perlmutter, were sued in 2011 after defaulting on a $29 million loan, according to federal court records. In 2012, he was ordered to pay more than $4 million for defaulting on a $2.5 million loan for a separate renovation.

Menachem_Stark

In addition to racking up crushing debts, Stark ran rental properties riddled with code violations and sidelined as a loan shark, sources have said.  Police suspect that Stark was targeted for a professional hit ordered by one of the many creditors to whom he was deep in debt.  Stark owed multiple people amounts ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars — and one apparently got fed up with waiting for the money, law-enforcement sources said Tuesday.

Attorney Henry Mazurek did not deny a NY Post report that Perlmutter said Stark owed more than $1 million to loan sharks.

Hmmm.  Doesn’t this sound like the Graham Avenue crew?  That Dodge minivan has probably already been through the crusher at T & T –but without the Ohio registration plates.  Is it reasonable to look for residual interior components in and around Willetts Point?  Probably not.

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