Suspect in Jewish Center threat charged in $1M scheme

02/03/2015 7:51 PM |

TerrorArrest

Six months after she was arrested along with her ex-husband for allegedly emailing terroristic threats against a Jewish house of worship in the Hamptons, a Riverhead woman now stands accused of attempting to steal more than $1 million in assets from the estate of a Westhampton Beach man who died last May.

Asli Dincer, 44, was arraigned on two felony counts of attempted grand larceny Jan. 23, the same day she was indicted in connection with the alleged terror threat that landed her and her former husband in the county jail in Riverside, where they have been held since July 11.

According to the indictment, Ms. Dincer attempted to steal assets valued at more than $1 million from the estate of Murray C. Frank, who neighbors say was a retired Air Force officer and a colorful character who used to frequent Westhampton Beach Village meetings.

Westhampton Village police chief Trevor Gonce said Mr. Frank approached his department for help in December 2013 saying a woman, who he only named as Asli, was “using false pretenses to attempt to acquire his property.”

“He thought someone had rummaged through his stuff,” Chief Gonce said.

Westhampton police officials turned the information over to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office, the chief said. “When we were dealing with it we didn’t even know who she was,” he added.

Southampton Town tax records show that Mr. Frank owned three parcels on Old Riverhead Road valued by the town at more than $1.75 million in 2014.

Neighbors said Mr. Frank had never married and had no close family other than his sister, Joan, who died just days after him.

“He was kind of a recluse, but he was a very intelligent person,” said Conrad Teller, a former chief of police in Southampton and Westhampton Beach who later served as village mayor. “You could always count on him to speak up at our meetings.

“He was definitely a little different,” he added. “I think over the years he had developed some phobias.”

When he wasn’t home or at Village Hall, Mr. Frank was often seen hanging around the Westhampton 7-Eleven or at Dunkin’ Donuts in Riverhead, his truck filled with discarded newspapers he had read, Mr. Teller said.

Dean Speir, a writer from Westhampton Beach who has published blog posts about Mr. Frank’s death, said his neighbor always wore a pair of galoshes and kept a copy of The New York Times with him.

“He liked to play chess and he kept up with current events,” Mr. Speir said.

Official details about Ms. Dincer’s alleged scheme outside of the indictment and the information Chief Gonce shared with the News-Review, are scarce. Requests for comment from Suffolk County police officials and the District Attorney’s office were unreturned. The indictment contains few specifics.

One detail in the indictment is that the incident for which she is accused of attempted grand larceny occurred on Nov. 13, 2013. Online court records show that is the same day Ms. Dincer filed for divorce from her former husband, Melih Dincer, 31.

Despite their divorce, the Dincers, who were born in Turkey, were living together at the Summerwind Square apartment building in downtown Riverhead at the time of their arrest, according to a prior Newsday report. They were stepping off an international flight together at John F. Kennedy Airport when they were arrested on July 11, 2014, according to a prior press release issued by the East Hampton Village Police Department.

Village detectives said the Dincers had left the country, but were wanted for questioning in connection with several written threats made against the Jewish Center of the Hamptons. Those three threats were made on May 28, June 3, and June 8 of last year, according to the criminal complaint against the couple.

The Center notified village police, who coordinated efforts with the Suffolk County Police Department and New York State Police, while also working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to identify the Dincers, according to the East Hampton police press release.

In a report published one day after the Dincers were arrested, the East Hampton star detailed the alleged threats against the house of worship, citing court records and police officials.

“The emails were written in the form of a tip, naming others who were planning to blow up the center,” the Star wrote.

The Dincers admitted to sending the emails, according to the Star report, saying it was a revenge plot against those named in the emails.

When asked why she sent the emails, Ms. Dincer said of a man allegedly named in the emails, “He tried to mess up my life by saying bad things about me to the old man,” the Star reported.

Online court records show Ms. Dincer is due back in court on both matters Feb. 10. Mr. Dincer’s name does not appear in online court records, but a spokesperson at the county jail in Riverside said he remains in custody.

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