Authorities Investigating Long Island Lawyer in Alleged Ponzi Scheme

Authorities are investigating whether a dead Long Island lawyer was another Bernard Madoff.

Attorney Jay Korn apparently jumped to his death last week from the roof of his eight-story Hempstead office just as some of his clients were asking what happened to millions invested with him.

"You know we learned in [the] Madoff [case], if it's too good to be true, it's not true -- and the same applied here," said attorney Jerome Reisman.

Some 40 alleged victims have claimed that they lost more than $11 million with Korn, said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. Investigators removed boxes of documents from Korn's office and appealed to other potential victims to come forward.  Korn's law firm had no comment.

For years, Korn, 70, recruited friends and fellow golf club members for real estate investments that their attorneys now say appear to be bogus. Korn allegedly promised returns ranging from 12 to 15 percent, secured by documents that contained scant information, according a lawyer for about two dozen alleged victims.

"The piece of property is not listed, there's no address listed, there's no mortgage in connection with the property, no mortgage filed," said attorney Richard Roth. "It's a very very suspicious-looking document. When they came to me I looked at these and I concluded that there is something going on here that doesn't seem right."

Police say that while they suspect Korn committed suicide, it will take the results of toxicology tests to formally confirm the cause of death. However, they do say it did appear that Korn had some questionable financial dealings.  

"Some information that came to us early in the investigation did show some business transactions some personal money transactions that were going on that were maybe a little out of the ordinary," said Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a spokesman for the Nassau County Police.

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