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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Grainy video allegedly shows NYPD's Timoshenko murder suspect fleeing from stolen BMW, Dexter Bostic also eyed in murder at Universal Auto World

Jurors in the NYPD's Russel Timoshenko murder trial saw video Tuesday morning of what prosecutors say is the cop's three alleged killers fleeing the scene of the crime. The grainy footage shows a dark BMW driving the wrong way down Kingston Ave. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, and then stopping.

Three men can be seen jumping out of the stolen SUV. Their faces are difficult to see, but prosecutors say they are defendants Dexter Bostick (aka Bostic), Robert Ellis and Lee Woods.

The trio charged down the street and eventually turned down an alleyway - where guns were later found, a forensic expert is expected to testify.

The video marked the first time jurors have seen any evidence tying the defendants to the car, which was caught on a separate video taken at the scene of the July 9, 2007, shooting.

Their lawyers scoffed at the importance of the tape. Bostick's lawyer said his client couldn't be identified from the video. Woods' lawyer, Samuel Karliner, said his client admits to being in the car but contends he had no idea the other two would open fire on cops during the traffic stop. He said Woods' frantic flight from the scene with the other two isn't evidence of guilt - just caution.

"If people just shot at two police officers, it might not be that easy just to run from them," Karliner said. The jury was expected to hear from Tameka Buggs, a friend of Ellis who met up with him and Bostic aka Bostick after the shooting. Prosecutors say she will tell the jury what the suspects said about the shooting, the spelling of the last name of Dexter Bostick is also Bostic, see wanted poster.

New York City police and Nassau's Homicide Squad are examining the possibility of a connection between suspects arrested for shooting of two cops in Brooklyn and the unsolved January killing of a top salesman at a North Lawrence car dealership, authorities.

Det. Lt. Kevin Smith, a Nassau police spokesman, confirmed that the two police departments were exploring the possibility of a link. Citing an ongoing probe, Smith declined to elaborate. In Manhattan, a police spokesman said, "This is a huge ongoing investigation with several angles and we are not commenting."


In both cases, car dealerships were transformed into crime scenes. After the city police shooting, the Five Towns Mitsubishi dealership became one of the targets of a massive police investigation and manhunt. The 2003 BMW pulled over by New York City Officers Russel Timoshenko and Herman Yan was stolen from that lot. A license plate from another car from there was tacked onto the BMW, police said.

One of the suspects, Dexter Bostick (aka Bostic), 34, of Far Rockaway, also worked at that dealership. The Inwood dealership's video surveillance system recorded Bostic opening the BMW's door at the time it was stolen, police said. About a mile and half from Five Towns Mitsubishi, in North Lawrence, car salesman Collin Thomas, 27, of Jamaica, Queens, was fatally shot once in the back Jan. 11 shortly before closing up at Universal Auto World on Burnside Avenue.

Thomas had worked at the Univeral Auto World dealership only a few months after quitting his job at nearby Five Towns Chrysler, 553 Burnside Ave., a manager at the dealership and his father said. After Thomas' shooting, police canine handlers used dogs to sniff a fleet of used luxury cars and sport utility vehicles at the dealership, notebooks listing cars transferred under the table at Universal Auto World found in desk of the murdered employee, Collin Thomas . Police later used a search warrant to review business records at the Universal Auto World dealership as part of the homicide investigation.

The Universal Auto World dealership has since closed and the owner, Michael Oshry, could not be reached, a search of Oshry's home turned up records required to be kept at dealership . Thomas' father, who asked not to be identified when reached by telephone at his home, is caring for Thomas' two sons, ages 8 and 6 months."I don't know why they killed him or who," he said. Police ask anyone with information on the Thomas murder to call 800-244-TIPs. (Was Collin Thomas killed at Universal Auto World by Bostick's gang because he knew too much ?)

A murder investigation has led Nassau prosecutors to uncover a massive fraud scheme that was being run out of two Five Towns area car dealerships, District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced this morning at a news conference.

Prosecutors have arrested 11 people who they say were running scams out of Universal Auto World and Victory Toyota, both on Burnside Avenue in Lawrence, Rice said. Some were using stolen identities to purchase luxury vehicles for third parties who wanted to keep their names "off the books," Rice said. Others were using "straw" buyers -- or people who were knowingly allowing their identities to be misused -- to purchase vehicles for third parties, she said.

Rice said she does not know why the third parties wanted to remain under the radar."I can think of a lot of reasons why someone wouldn't want their name on the books of an automobile, and none of them are good," said Rice.

Rice spokesman Eric Phillips said she still does not know whether the Jan. 11, 2007, murder of Collin Thomas, 27, a salesman at Universal Auto World, was connected to the schemes being run out of the dealership. However that investigation, which is continuing, is what led investigators to uncover the other schemes, Phillips said.

Phillips said his office is also continuing to investigate a link between Thomas' murder and a car used in the shooting of two police officers in Brooklyn last summer. One of the officers, Russel Timoshenko, was killed. The officers were shot after pulling over a 2003 BMW that was stolen from another Five Towns dealership, Five Towns Mitsubishi.

Rice said there were a total of 10 instances in which stolen identities were used to facilitate this type of fraudulent purchase. Employees would also file loan applications containing false information in order to push through auto loans, without the purchasers consent or permission. Customer signatures were also forged on applications for higher cost loans processed with lenders and at rates other than those the purchasers had originally agreed upon, Rice said.

"The criminal conduct of auto dealerships that fleece the public through outright theft, excessive interest rates, useless warrantees or products, and steal the identifications of unsuspecting citizens will not be tolerated," state Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner David Swarts said in a statement. As part of the homicide probe, Nassau County police raided the dealership, owned by auto czar Michael Oshry, and Oshry’s Hewlett Harbor home and seized business records. Cops found banking records were sent to the house, though the state requires such files be kept at businesses, according to court papers filed in a civil forfeiture action by the Nassau district attorney. “The dealership knew what was going on,” an investigator said. Oshry’s lawyer, William Petrillo, said his client “has not engaged in any criminal activity.”

Prosecutors named the following as defendants in the case:
1). UNIVERSAL AUTO SALES, 711 BURNSIDE AVE LAWRENCE & UNIVERSAL AUTO SALES LLC 1195 HARBOR ROAD HEWLETT HARBOR, NEW YORK, 11557 is charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, seven counts of grand larceny in the second degree, one count of grand larceny in the third degree, and 16 counts of falsification of business records in the first degree.
2). Christ Tsiropoulos, 38, of Bellmore, is the former general manager and co-owner of Universal Auto Sales, Llc. He was arrested in Dec. 4, 2007, and charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, seven counts of grand larceny in the second degree, one count of grand larceny in the third degree, and 16 counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
3). Mark Harley, 30, of Far Rockaway, is the former finance manager of Universal. He was arrested in Dec. 3, 2007, and charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, seven counts of grand larceny in the second degree, one count of grand larceny in the third degree, six counts of identity theft in the first degree and 22 counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
4). Rajmohan Autar, 33, of Queens Village, was arrested in Jan. 4 and charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, seven counts of grand larceny in the second degree, one count of grand larceny in the third degree, and 14 counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
5). William White, 28, of Bay Shore was arrested in July 3, 2007, and charged with grand larceny in the second degree. He is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
6). Damian Cole, 44, of Cambria Heights, was arrested in Dec. 5, 2007, and charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, three counts of grand larceny in the second degree, four counts of grand larceny in the third degree, and seven counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
7). Nazeem Mohamed, 43, of Richmond Hill, was arrested in Dec. 5, 2007, and charged with scheme to defraud in the first Degree, two counts of grand larceny in the second degree, three counts of grand larceny in the third degree, and five counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.
8). Haimraj Prashad, 38, of Jamaica, Queens, was arrested in Dec. 5, 2007, and charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, four counts of grand larceny in the third degree, and four counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is facing a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted.
9). Maurice Coleman, 22, of Elmont, was arrested in Dec. 20, 2007, and charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, two counts of grand larceny in the third degree, and two counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is facing a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted.

Victory Toyota defendants were identified as:
10). George Buzzetta, 54, of Port Charlotte, Fla., the former finance manager for Victory Toyota. He is charged with scheme to defraud in the first degree, two counts of grand larceny in the third degree, two counts of identity theft in the first degree and two counts of falsification of business records in the first degree. He is being extradited from Florida. He is facing a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted.
11). Anne Edgar Lockhart, 29, of Springfield Gardens, the former sales manager of Victory Toyota, was arrested in Aug. 14, 2007. She is charged with identity theft in the first degree and two counts of criminal possession of a forged iInstrument in the second degree. He is facing a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted.
12). Terrence Alford, 47, of Elmont, a former salesman at Victory Toyota, was arrested in July 3, 2008. He is charged with grand larceny in the third degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. He is facing a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted.

First one to "talk", gets the deal, link Dexter Bostick (aka Bostic) and his gang to the Collin Thomas murder at Universal Auto World and a lot of years will melt away from your charges !


Bill Warner
Private Investigator
www.wbipi.com