A Hudson Valley podiatrist and his girlfriend are accused of plotting to kill his wife and rough up two insurance investigators who were looking into his medical practice.
Ramapo police arrested Ira Bernstein, 42, and Kelly Myzner Gribeluk, 36, on Monday after learning of the alleged plan and setting up a sting operation employing a makeup artist to make the two insurance agent look like they had been savagely beaten, authorities said Tuesday.
Police said they were tipped to the plot about a month ago by a man the pair allegedly hired to kill Bernstein's wife Susan. The informant told police that the killing was to be done is such a way as to appear that the woman's death was an accident.
After the two insurance investigators were made up to appear beaten, their photos were taken and presented to Bernstein and Gribeluk, police said. The suspects then paid the informant for the assaults and the killing, police said, declining to reveal the amount.
Bernstein and Gribeluk were charged with felony counts of conspiracy and solicitation and were being held in lieu of $600,000 bail.
The case will be presented to a grand jury on Friday, police said.
Attorney Kevin Conway, who is representing Bernstein, said his client looks forward to clearing his name.
"These are very serious charges. Dr. Bernstein plans on being vindicated of those charges," he said.
Bernstein operates Rockland Podiatry out of offices in Suffern and Bardonia.
He has at least one malpractice lawsuit pending against him, according to court records. He lost a malpractice suit in 2014 and settled at least two others, one involving a child, records show.
In 2013, Gribeluk was involved in a custody fight over her three sons after breaking up with her Orthodox Jewish husband, according to a story in The Jewish Week. He husband accused her at the time of having an affair with his nephew.