Yonkers man accused of lying to grand jury in casino-rigging case involving his sister-in-law

A Yonkers man is accused of lying last year to a Westchester County grand jury, which indicted his sister-in-law and two others in a game-rigging scheme at Empire City casino in Yonkers.

Michael Mitchell, (left) a 39-year-old Yonkers resident, was arraigned in White Plains City Court today on a felony charge of first-degree perjury for his grand jury testimony in June 2009 regarding rigged promotional contests at the racetrack and casino.

According to the District Attorney’s office, Mitchell testified that he recruited his brother, Brian Mitchell, to take part in a rigged contest as a phony prize winner in 2008.

Brian Mitchell has been dead since July 2001.

Mitchell is married to the sister of Donna Cronin, who with Alicia Murray and Terence Osborne were indicted in the scheme by that same grand jury. They later pleaded guilty to grand larceny and fraud charges.

All three were sentenced to five years’ probation, with Murray serving 12 weekends in jail. Murray, who was just sentenced on Tuesday, was the last defendant in the case.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s office, said the office did not intentionally delay charging Mitchell until the case was closed. He said Mitchell is facing federal charges in unrelated cases, and those cases took precedent.

Mitchell pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to social security fraud in connection to his deceased brother. He previously plead guilty in U.S. District Court to perjury, conspiracy and embezzlement involving corruption and kickbacks when he was a union shop steward.

Chalfen said Mitchell’s alleged perjury would not affect the convictions of the three defendants in the case, as there were more than 40 other witnesses who testified before the grand jury in the case.

Mitchell’s bail was set at $5,000.  He faces up to seven years in state prison if convicted of first-degree perjury.

Ex-New Square Clerk Pleads Guilty In Massive Federal Fraud Case From 1997

Avrum David Friesel, 57, a son of the New Square’s only mayor and the former village clerk, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this morning to a federal conspiracy count involving the theft of tens of millions of dollars from federal education and anti-poverty programs.
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Friesel fled prosecution for 11 years following a 64-count indictment in 1997 against himself, five other New Square residents and a New York City man. Friesel spent years in Israel before moving to Great Britain, where he was arrested in London in 2008 and extradicted in 2009 back to the United States.
Friesel faces a maximum of five years in prison when sentenced June 15 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on his guilty plea to conspiracy, a minimum fine of $250,000 and an order to pay $11.6 million in restitution under the plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.
Four other New Square residents and a New York City man were convicted in the massive fraud case  and served prison times. President Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of four of them.
One man, Nathan Adler, remains a fugitive.
More details at lohud.com

Avrum David Friesel in above photo.