Friday, December 3, 2010

A Brooklyn rabbi has been charged in the contract killing of a former suburban police officer and his nephew, authorities said

Rabbi Victor Koltun, 41 - whose rap sheet includes mortgage-fraud allegations - is accused of hiring two ex-cons to kill Frank Piscopo, 49, and Gerald Piscopo, 28, in Newburgh, Orange County. Both Piscopos were found dead Nov. 4, 2010. Frank had been a police sergeant in the Ulster County town of Lloyd before he quit in 1990 amid allegations he stole items from the department. He had a criminal record that included arrests for theft and drug selling. Gerald had been deep in credit-card debt and emerged from personal bankruptcy in March 2010. He had spent 2½ years in state prison from 2003 to 2005 on burglary charges. Rabbi Koltun, of Sheepshead Bay, already faces a possible 15-year prison term on separate charges that he pocketed proceeds of a $225,000 mortgage on several Brooklyn houses he did not own. Newburgh cops also busted Frank Lewis, 56, of Manhattan, and Craig Fennell, 51, of Brooklyn, for allegedly carrying out the killings. Both Lewis and Fennell are parolees with convictions for violent crimes. All three suspects were arraigned in Newburgh city court and ordered jailed without bail.

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