RW Professional Leasing Arrests
June 26, 2002
By Robert E. Kessler
Long Island, New York

Four officials of an Island Park-based leasing company were arrested by FBI agents Friday on charges that they engaged in a complex series of schemes to defraud lending institutions around the country of millions of dollars in loans that were ostensibly meant to finance the leasing of medical equipment.

Agents hurriedly raided the offices of RW Leasing Services at 4584 Austin Blvd., Island Park, and a satellite office in Wellesley, Mass., because an informant told investigators the company's records were being destroyed, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Brown and an FBI affidavit filed in support of a search warrant.

One official of the firm said several officers were planning to flee to Greece with their families, according to the affidavit.

An ongoing investigation indicated that at least 12 banks nationwide had possible losses of more than $6.5 million, the affidavit said.

But the informant said that as many as 90 other loans may have been involved in the scheme, indicating the alleged fraud might be as large as $200 million.

Brown said in U.S. District Court in Central Islip late Friday that the case was "conservatively a tremendous fraud."

RW Leasing Services has specialized for 20 years in obtaining loans for physicians, dentists, veterinarians and optometrists to finance the long-term leasing of expensive medical equipment such as X-ray machines. The company then managed the leases, collecting payments on the loans and passing them on to the lending institutions, the affidavit said.

Among the various frauds in which the company allegedly engaged were: obtaining loans and not passing them on to their medical clients; obtaining loans for nonexistent practices and pocketing the money; and obtaining loans from several banks for the same lease.

Brad Simon, the attorney for the president of the company, Rochelle Besser, said his client was not guilty and he "will defend the case vigorously." Besser was held as a possible flight risk pending a hearing tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Central Islip.

Others arrested were Besser's brothers, senior vice president Barry Drayer and Roger Drayer, whose title was not given; and Jennifer Tarantino, Roger Drayer's daughter, a company employee. They were released on varying bails.

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press & Newsday, Inc.