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DA: Man stole $1.2M from Holocaust survivor

Barry Palczewski, 55, has been indicted on larceny

Barry Palczewski, 55, has been indicted on larceny and forgery charges after stealing more than $1.2 million from a Holocaust survivor to pay for his rent, hot tub repairs and sporting events, prosecutors said. Photo Credit: Handout

An Oyster Bay accountant stole more than $1.2 million from an elderly Holocaust survivor, writing himself checks for rent and hot tub repairs, the Manhattan district attorney said Friday.

Barry Palczewski, 55, was charged with grand larceny and multiple counts of forgery in New York State Supreme Court.

"These charges reveal an egregious example of financial elder abuse -- a Holocaust survivor who entrusted her finances to a law firm was the unwitting victim of a shocking theft," District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said.

Vance said the victim gave a Manhattan-based lawyer power of attorney before she died in 2012 at the age of 97. Palczewski, an accountant at the law firm, oversaw her bank accounts and stole more than 100 checks from her from 2008 through 2010, Vance said, writing checks payable to himself.

Vance said some of the stolen money was spent on sporting events and Palczewski's consulting business.

The victim's identity was not released.

Palczewski's Manhattan attorney, John Kaley, said Friday night that his client "intends to vigorously defend himself."

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