Monday, February 3, 2014

Fake Israeli spy conned woman out of $20M: lawsuit

A Brighton Beach man posed as an Israeli secret agent that palled around with Robert De Niro, Vladimir
Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu to swindle an elderly Manhattan woman out of $20 million of inventory from her company’s jewelry, court papers state.

Now her two daughters are suing to overturning their mom’s will, which completely cut them out after they tried to expose the much younger paramour as a con artist.

Starting in 2009, Yehuda Sadok, 48, who also went by Oody Geffen, wooed jewelry company owner Emilie Martin – who was 30 years his senior – and convinced her of a plan to sell the baubles to the ruling Sheikh of Dubai, according to the court papers, filed in Manhattan by Martin’s two daughters.

“The stories Oody told Emilie would have been rejected by [James Bond creator] Ian Fleming as ridiculous,” a lawyer for Martin’s daughters said in the papers.

“Oody told Emilie that he was a ‘top five Mossad agent,’ kept a cyanide capsule in his tooth, went fishing with [Russian President] Vladamir Putin, and was friends with Robert De Niro and [Israeli Prime Minister]Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Martin became furious with her daughters, Claudia Difabrizio of Park Avenue and Sarah Lee Martin of Connecticut, when they tried to stop her from giving Sadok the company’s $20 million worth of jewelry for the Dubai sale because associates in the industry told them he was involved with the Russian mob, court papers state.

In the spring of 2009 the twice-divorced Emilie, who consigned estate jewelry to department stores like Neiman Marcus, told her daughter Claudia she had “a hot date.”

“I asked her who he was,” Claudia recalls in court papers.

“She refused to tell me his name, claiming he was a secret agent and she could not disclose his name for risk of jeopardizing his cover.”

That summer when Claudia met her mother’s beau “Oody claimed he was supposed to have dinner with Robert DeNiro, but chose to have dinner with my mother instead because ‘she is more important to me than Robert DeNiro.”

Claudia said her mother “was acting like a school girl in love.”

Geffen also claimed to be a movie producer and pretended to take a call from the “Goodfellas” actor at the dinner table.

Claudia later tape recorded a conversation with her mother who was relating Geffen’s alleged tales of spy heroism.

“They don’t carry guns,” Emilie said to her daughter, “They, they, uh, for example…they kill an Arab, right, just from his strength…just twist his neck and he died.”

In that same conversation Emilie boasted that her boyfriend goes fishing with Putin.

After the episode the daughters brought their mother to a shrink who diagnosed her with Paranoid Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

“Her inflated sense of her own importance and need for admiration coupled with grandiose fantasies about power and success render her vulnerable to exploitation,” Dr. Messina wrote in a report attached to the suit.

“Based on Oody’s story, my mother believed that the two of them would fly to Dubai, live in the Sheikh’s place and sell all the company’s inventory, and then with the sale proceeds of both the inventory and her Fifth Avenue apartment…they would purchase a fancy condominium in Abu Dhabi where they would live happily ever after,” Claudia said in the suit.

A court settlement resulted in Martin promising to cut ties with Sadok and splitting her company with her daughters.

But then she suddenly signed over the bulk of her remaining $11 million fortune to four estranged siblings and their children, court papers state. She died in 2011 at age 78.

The daughters are now suing in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court to have that will thrown out and an earlier version that left everything to them reinstated.

The women say the dramatic change in their late mother’s estate was the result of an “insane delusion that caused her to disinherit her children.”

An attorney for the siblings called the allegations “ridiculous.”

Sadok could not immediately be reached for comment.

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