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Scam artist admits swindling investor of nearly $1 million

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

He said he came from an international law firm, then he fleeced an unwitting victim of nearly $1 million, a North Jersey man admitted in federal court.

Vlade “Walter” Stojchevski, 40, of Lake Hiawatha, pleaded guilty to wire fraud before U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown. He could be looking at up to 20 years in prison, especially given the fact that he’s in state custody for forgery, in connection with role in an illegal pharmaceutical ring based in Fort Lee.

On October 26, 2009, Stojchevski was arrested and detained on a federal complaint charging him with passing counterfeit checks.

According to the Complaint, Stojchevski made photocopies of a genuine bank cashier’s check, endorsed them, and presented the photocopies as valid forms of payment.

The victim made his first deposit of $32,000 in the late 90s into what Stojchevski claimed was a Russian account. Stojchevski hit him up again in 2007, admitting that he claimed liens and debts had been placed on the account.

He told the judge  he then made up another story about hiring Dewey & LeBoeuf, an international law firm headquartered in New York, with an office in Moscow, to try and recover the victim’s investment.

To carry out the ruse, Stojchevski opened a New Jersey bank account and created false documents, including bogus letterhead and correspondence purportedly from D&L — whose officials told investigators they’d never heard of Stojchevski.

The victim issued checks that Stojchevski admitted to the judge he used for himself.

Brown set sentencing for October 4.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman credited the Newark field office of the FBI with making the case that led to Wednesday’s plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Mack of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit handled the case.

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