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LI attorney's death sparks Ponzi scheme investigation

The death last week of a Hempstead attorney has sparked a Nassau police investigation into the cause and a district attorney's office probe into complaints received about him, authorities said Sunday.

Carole Trottere, a spokeswoman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, said a "handful" of complaints had been received late last week from people who claim that money they invested with Jay Korn, 70, was lost in a Ponzi scheme.

"We are investigating all the complaints," she said. The complaints are against Korn only and do not involve his law firm, she said.

Korn, who lived in Rockville Centre, was found outside his office building at 50 Clinton St. in Hempstead at 10:11 a.m. Wednesday, according to Hempstead Village police.

He was taken to Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, where he was pronounced dead at 10:44 a.m. that day.

Detectives from Nassau's 3rd Squad are investigating the death, a spokeswoman said. An autopsy was scheduled but results have not been publicly released.

A phone message left at Korn's home number in Rockville Centre was not returned Sunday. His law partner, Arthur Spirn, spoke briefly with a reporter Saturday.

"It's a tragic situation," Spirn said. "The man is dead."

Korn was admitted to the bar in 1963 and once was the president of Middle Bay Country Club in Oceanside, according to a death notice in The New York Times.

"Jay's warmth, smile, humor and friendship will be missed by all," said the notice placed by the club. "His insight, guidance and dedication to Middle Bay was unwavering and will never be forgotten."

John Rogers, 64, of Lynbrook, who said he was a golfing friend of Korn, said the memorial service in Oceanside last week was packed with hundreds of mourners.

"You had every seat in the house full and people out the door," Rogers said.

Rogers added: "His integrity was beyond reproach. He was extremely honest as far as I knew."

With Matthew Chayes

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