Sheldon Silver’s son-in-law sentenced to 2 years for Ponzi scheme


NEW YORK (JTA) — A son-in-law of the recently convicted former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been sentenced to two years in prison for running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Marcello Trebitsch, 37, was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan Wednesday and ordered to pay nearly $5.9 million in restitution, several media outlets reported. He pleaded guilty in July, admitting he cheated four investors out of almost $6 million in the Ponzi scheme.

Trebitsch’s wife, Michelle Trebitsch, is the daughter of Silver, a longtime Democratic New York State Assembly member who was convicted on seven corruption charges in an unrelated case on Nov. 30. Silver has said he plans to appeal his conviction.

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While the two convictions are unrelated, during the sentencing hearing attorneys said Trebitsch’s connection to Silver helped him attract clients.

U.S. District Vernon Broderick said he was giving Trebitsch a lenient sentence (federal guidelines recommend four to five years in prison for such a crime) because of Trebitsch’s numerous charitable acts, The Associated Press reported.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman said Trebitsch was “not a Madoff,” according to the AP, referencing the multibillion-dollar Jewish Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, who pleaded guilty in 2009 and is serving a 150-year prison sentence for cheating thousands of investors.

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“He never hit it big,” Goldman said. “He spent more time making false account statements than he did investing.”

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