The business partner of slain Chasidic landlord Menachem Stark, is “distraught” and “outraged” by a report that he may be considered a suspect in the recent murder of his friend, his lawyer told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.
Henry E. Mazurek, an attorney at Clayman & Rosenberg LLP, said that his client Israel Perlmutter, “…is angered and distraught by such a baseless allegation.”
“Mr. Perlmutter is outraged at any insinuation that he had anything to do with this unthinkable violent act against a dear friend and partner,” Mazurek said.
On Monday night, the New York Daily News reported that Perlmutter was being treated as a possible suspect in the case, citing an unnamed “police source.”
“Perlmutter is being treated as a possible suspect because police are convinced he has been lying to them about Stark and trying to use a Russian businessman as a scapegoat, a police source said,” the Daily News reported.
Discounting the report, Mazurek said that “No one from the New York Police Department has publicly claimed — or even implied — that Mr. Perlmutter is a suspect in this terrible crime.” He also pointed out that the Daily News only cited a single “unnamed source.” At this time, legal action against the Daily News is not under consideration, the lawyer said.
Perlmutter “is still coping with the devastating news of the hideous acts committed against Mr. Stark. He has been grieving the loss of his partner and from the time of the initial kidnapping has been fully cooperating with the police investigation,” the lawyer added.
Providing an example of Perlmutter’s involvement in aiding the ongoing police investigation, Mazurek told The Algemeiner that his client provided “…immediate assistance to the police in helping secure a local business’s surveillance camera’s video shortly after Mr. Stark’s abduction.”
“This is the video that has now been widely released to help identify the abductors,” he said. “Mr. Perlmutter is committed to assisting the police in finding and prosecuting the perpetrators of these awful acts.”
Menachem Stark was abducted by two men on Friday morning who were seen on surveillance footage bundling him into a white van. He was found dead on Saturday in a Long Island dumpster burnt from the waist down.
Perlmutter and Stark were partners along with a third man, in a real estate firm called Southside Associates LLC, which owned hundreds of housing units.