January 7, 2014 Williamsburg, Brooklyn (NYDailyNews) — Menachem Stark’s Partner may be suspect in Brooklyn landlord Menachem Stark’s murder. Menachem Stark’s business partner, Israel Perlmutter, is being treated as a possible suspect because police are convinced he has been lying to them, according to a police source. Meanwhile, a reward for information leading to the killers was raised to $25,000.
The business partner of a Brooklyn landlord whose scorched body was found in a dumpster is being eyed as a possible suspect in the grisly killing, sources said Monday.
Investigators digging for clues in the slaying of Menachem Stark are focusing on the activities of his business partner, Israel Perlmutter.
Perlmutter is being treated as a possible suspect because police are convinced he has been lying to them about Stark and trying to use a Russian businessman as a scapegoat, a police source said.
The stunning twist in the case came as detectives said they believed Stark was squashed to death, and a reward for information leading to the killers was hiked to $25,000.
“It might be that they sat on him to get him under control and that they wound up killing him that way,” a police source said of Stark, a 39-year-old father of eight.
The victim fought his kidnappers after they grabbed him Thursday night outside his Rutledge St. office.
Perlmutter, 42, could not be reached for comment Monday. Two men sitting in a Ford SUV outside his South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, house and wearing Secret Service-type ear pieces approached a Daily News reporter who rang the doorbell.
“This is private property,” one of them said. “You need to leave.”
Stark and Perlmutter were partners in several real estate ventures, including a 74-unit apartment building in South Williamsburg on which they took out a $29 million mortgage in 2007.
The real estate market crashed soon after, and the S. Fourth St. property went into bankruptcy in 2009, according to public records. The partners were sued for defaulting on tens of millions of dollars in loans, and cops are now probing those deals.
The pair and another man were also hit with a $4 million judgment involving another Williamsburg property in 2010, records show.
Leo Fox, the business lawyer Perlmutter and Stark shared, declined to discuss the case that is roiling the tight-knit Satmar Jewish community.
Stark’s family refused to comment on Perlmutter’s possible link to the murder.
Asked if an arrest was imminent, a police source told The News that detectives “don’t have anything yet that would lead them to say it’s this person, not that person.”
Earlier Monday, members of Stark’s family announced they were raising the reward money to $25,000 and a prominent Brooklyn rabbi appealed to the public for help in finding the killer.