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Posted on: May 10, 2021

Glen Cove Private Investigator Indicted for Allegedly Attempting to Extort Client

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Client employed the defendant as part of defense team in double-murder exoneration

MINEOLA, N. Y. – District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the indictment of a private investigator from Glen Cove for allegedly attempting to extort his client over the span of at least three years with threatening emails and phone calls. 

Jay Salpeter, 69, of Glen Cove, was arraigned today before Judge Felice Muraca and charged with attempted grand larceny in the second degree by extortion (a D felony), two counts of attempted grand larceny in the fourth degree by extortion (an A misdemeanor), and two counts of aggravated harassment in the second degree (an A misdemeanor). If convicted on the top charge, the maximum sentence is 2-1/3 years to seven years in prison.  The defendant is due back in court on June 7th

DA Singas said that between January 12, 2018 and March 27, 2021, Salpeter allegedly sent or left his former client, Martin Tankleff, dozens of emails and voicemails threatening Tankleff and attempting to obtain money for services Salpeter believed he was owed. 

Salpeter was employed as a private investigator as part of a defense team that secured Tankleff’s exoneration after he was convicted in Suffolk County in 1990 of murdering his parents and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. The charges were dropped in 2008.

Salpeter allegedly sent emails threatening to cause physical injuries to Tankleff if he failed to give Salpeter money and left voicemails threatening to harm Tankleff’s reputation or expose secrets if he failed to pay. 

Rick Whelan, Chief of the Rackets & Enterprise Crime Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Kelsey Lorer of the Rackets & Enterprise Crime Bureau are prosecuting the case. The defendant is represented by Thomas Liotti, Esq.  

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.


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