A Queens lawyer was able to beat federal charges that he was involved in a scheme to defraud millions from General Motors but continues to fight state charges that he neglected to file his income taxes for three consecutive years.
Darmin Bachu, 47, was a co-defendant with Lilaahaar “Sammy” Bical, the man behind Brooklyn’s Kristal Auto Mall. Bical pleaded guilty last month to attempt and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
In addition to Bachu, Bical has also received legal counsel from now-incarcerated former state Sen. John Sampson, who received a five-year prison sentence for blocking an investigation into a real estate developer who loaned him money.
Sampson is appealing his conviction and sentence and the matter is scheduled to go before a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for oral arguments on Dec. 7.
Bachu was indicted as part of the investigation into Sampson. He was accused of passing along to Bical a template for a nondisclosure agreement that Bical submitted to GM.
But Bachu didn’t go down without a fight: he pleaded not guilty to charges of wire and mail fraud and an associated conspiracy charge and the case advanced to trial. The jury in the case deliberated for three hours before handing up a not guilty verdict on all three counts.
Now Bachu is turning his sights on a state court case in which he is accused of multiple counts of failing to file his income taxes as well as fourth-degree grand larceny charge. According to a release from the Queens District Attorney’s Office, he alleged failed to pay a total of $16,000 that he was supposed to pay in taxes in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Thomas Kenniff, a partner at Raiser & Kenniff, said the state case was put on hold as Bachu fought the federal charges.
“Our client maintains his innocence and expects to be exonerated in that case as well,” Kenniff said.
In addition to Kenniff, Anthony Colleluori and Bruce Connolly of Raiser & Kenniff represented Bachu in the federal case against him as well as the state tax case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Drew Rolle, Paul Tuchmann and Alexander Solomon of the Eastern District prosecuted the federal case. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment on the verdict.
Assistant Queens District Attorney Khadijah Muhammad-Starling is prosecuting the state case.