Police are looking into whether the financial and business dealings of a slain Brooklyn landlord could have been related to his death, according to a law enforcement source briefed on the investigation.
Menachem “Max” Stark, 39, was kidnapped off a Williamsburg street Thursday night, authorities said, and his body was found in a commercial trash bin in Great Neck Friday.
Investigators are looking into Stark’s finances and whether he borrowed money from the “wrong people,” or whether a former employee may have been involved, the source said. According to the official, Stark had fired several employees, without notice or explanation.
Stark was buried in the town of Kiryas Joel in upstate New York Sunday, according to his brother Yitzi Stark and family friend Isaac Abraham. Menachem Stark was a Hasidic Jew who had owned rental properties.
Another friend of the family, Marcos Masri, 30, of Williamsburg, a leader in the Hasidic community, said of the killing: “We knew he was a target. Sometimes in business you get in financial trouble, and you borrow ... We knew in the community it wasn’t a random act.”
Stark’s body was found shortly before 4 p.m. Friday after the owner of the Getty gas station on Cutter Mill Road detected a foul smell and called police, who made the discovery.
The remains had been partially burned, according to a law enforcement source. Neither the NYPD nor the Nassau police had any official comment Sunday on a possible motive.
According to police, grainy surveillance video shows kidnappers wrestling Stark into a minivan Thursday night near his business office at 331 Rutledge St., and driving away.
The NYPD said Stark may have been carrying a large amount of cash.
When his family didn’t hear from Stark, they first notified the Shomrim, a volunteer patrol in Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and then called the NYPD about 2:30 a.m. Friday.
The NYPD and Nassau police will likely conduct a joint investigation into the kidnapping and homicide, said a New York City law enforcement official who asked not to be named.
Friends of the family said Stark was married with eight children.
With Robert Brodsky and Matthew Chayes