We were shocked at the number of emails complaining that we had omitted a story about the notorious swindler and con artist Shmuel “Sam” Shmueli in last week’s paper. This newspaper has uncovered a great deal about the rascal who has stiffed or tried to stiff almost everyone he has come in contract with. Apparently the public has an appetite for more.
We have learned from the Israeli courts that Shmueli – who has made a living in the U.S. suing dozens of people in meritless lawsuits – is also actively filing lawsuits in Israel, where he’s currently living.
Although the Israeli lawsuits are in Hebrew and we’re awaiting translations, we’ve already learned that in one lawsuit Shmueli is suing his 90 plus year old mother. Yeah you read that right. We can’t wait to read the full translation to learn how his mother ran afoul of Shmueli – of course, we’ll share that information.
We also discovered that Shmueli has been evicted from several more apartments than we had previously reported and that when he leaves he always leaves his trademark piles of Shmueli debris. The mess is always so catastrophic that landlords are compelled to make an extensive catalog of photographs.
Another choice tidbit: When he had his own newspaper in Brooklyn– Israel Shelanu — evidence from his printer (who he stiffed), and testimony from former employees who claim he cheated them of out pay checks, seem to reveal that Shmueli did not print the quantity of papers he claimed.
He told advertisers – and the Los Angeles Times in an interview – that he printed 120,000 copies weekly of his Israel Shelanu. According to a former employee, he actually printed less than 12,000 copies.
“Maybe he made a mistake with the extra zero,” one of his ex-employees told the Reporter.
Also according to an employee, some of his advertisers who didn’t actually see the newspaper were sent a photocopy of a fake newspaper page made with an advertiser’s ad in it – Shmueli would send it to them and bill them as if the ad had actually appeared in the newspaper.
His Hebrew language newspaper was shut down when he was sued for copyright infringement by Haaretz Daily Newspapers, Maariv Modiin Publishing Co., Ltd., and the Publication Group, Inc. of Los Angles after plagiarizing their work for years. There was a $24 million judgment filed against Shmueli.
Shmueli never paid a dime, discharging the $24 million debt in bankruptcy, along with dozens of other debts he incurred from good folks dumb enough to extend him credit.
Shmueli is an Israeli citizen currently residing in that country. But up until recently he lived in Buffalo and Niagara Falls. The Niagara Falls City Police Department is currently pursuing an active case against Shmueli for writing bad checks. Their investigation is based on the complaint of a Niagara Falls landlord victim to whom he allegedly wrote bad rent checks, as reported on in our January 7, 2016 edition.
According to Niagara Falls Police Supt. Bryan DalPorto, “There is an active investigation of filing false instruments. The dollar amount rises to a felony level and we’re investigating it fully. If we find there was criminal activity, he will be charged.”
“It will be up to the DA’s office [extradition],” said DalPorto, “it is an extraditable offense.”
A non-violent D felony charge carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison.
The Parkway Condominiums – from which he was unceremoniously evicted last month– house many of Niagara Falls’ elite – so the elegant Shmueli was right at home with lawyers and other professional people who live there. In fact he told everyone there he was a lawyer.
He is not. Although he is going to need one.
With panoramic views of the Niagara River, it must have been pleasant for Shmueli, sitting on the balcony on a bright summer morning, having his favorite breakfast of lox and bagels, reading the newspapers, and planning how to stiff his next lawyer.
In a nutshell – Shmueli’s con involved getting investors to give him money to retain lawyers for a lawsuit and in return, if he won the case, returning a share of the winnings to the investor. Instead of paying lawyers, however, he only paid a retainer fee, pocketed the rest of the cash and stiffed the investors and lawyers both.
Prominent attorneys and law firms such as Joseph Zdarsky, David Gutkowki, Steven Cohen, Corey Hogan, John LaFalce, Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel, Kevin Burke, Bradley Hoppe, the former law firm of Damon Morey, Eric Bloom, William Savino, Mitchell Banas, Blair and Roach, Kazlow and Kazlow, Gene Kazlow, Andrew Lavoot Bluestone, Anderson & Anderson, David C. Buxbaum, Kloss, Stenger and Lotempio, Joseph Mazurek, Phil Abromowicz, David Kloss, Michael Paskowitz, all lived, we suspect, to regret the day they saw Shmueli walk through their doors.
The accounts of his ex-employees are stimulating, the accounts of his ex-landlords are enlivening. The accounts of the lawyers he stiffed and was sued by or countersued are thought -provoking.