A Brooklyn landlord with tragedy in his past is accused of bilking thousands in benefits money.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors say Aron Stark put in for food stamps and Medicaid assistance while shelling out big bucks for real estate – now he’s charged with theft of government funds and health care fraud.
And the Daily News learned he almost got himself in a new heap of headaches Monday for weirdly wandering around the courthouse after a brief appearance on his case.
Stark, 36, is the brother of Menachem Stark, the slain landlord abducted in a botched January 2014 robbery; the 39-year-old man’s partially burnt body was discovered in a Long Island dumpster. One man has been convicted of Stark’s murder and three other men connected to the crime are awaiting trial.
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Brooklyn federal prosecutors said from 2007 to 2012, Aron Stark used limited liability companies to buy four buildings in the borough.
In his 2007 purchases of two buildings, the indictment said Stark told a financial institution he was worth more than $3 million. From 2010 to 2012, those two buildings gave him more than $150,000 in yearly rental income.
But from 2007 to 2013, Stark “omitted his true income and assets” on his food stamp recertifications under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. He received “in excess of ten thousand dollars to which he was not entitled,” the indictment said.
At the same time, Stark played a similar game with Medicaid benefits and the program wrongly paid “thousands of dollars on Stark’s behalf,” the indictment said.
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Prosecutors unsealed Stark’s indictment earlier this month. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $300,000 bond.
On Monday, Judge William Kuntz adjourned the case to June so prosecutors had time to turn over evidence, and talk over the case with Stark’s lawyer.
The News previously reported on Housing Court filings, which alleged Stark was also picking up Section 8 subsidies. The indictment doesn’t discuss Section 8 shenanigans.
Stark and his lawyer declined to comment on the charges, or the Section 8 matter, to The News.
Court sources said after his court date, Stark – probably looking to get past The News outside – was spotted on cameras trying to get into a restricted access point meant only for judges and other authorized personnel.
Security officers finally found Stark hiding underneath a second-floor staircase, sources said.
Stark ultimately didn’t get in any trouble with court security.
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