The victims of a May home invasion in Westchester County were a former UBS co-head of U.S. mergers and acquisitions and his wife, according to press accounts.
Last Thursday, the Department of Justice announced charges against a Bartek Zajkowski, a Polish national the government accused of accosting two victims during a home invasion in Bedford Hills. According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Zajkowski encountered his male victim outside the house, binding the man with duct tape and plastic ties before seeking valuables inside; there, he encountered the first victim’s wife, who he shot in the stomach with a BB gun.
While the Justice Department didn’t identify the couple, Bedford police told Newsday that the victims were Leonardo “Lee” LeBrun and his wife Lara; LoHud.com identified Mr. LeBrun as a former co-head of M&A for UBS Americas. Mr. LeBrun retired from the Swiss bank in May 2011 at the age of 44 to spend more time with his family.
The incident would become more bizarre and more terrifying.
Ms. LeBrun managed to trigger an alarm, and Mr. Zajkowski fled without any booty save for Mr. LeBrun’s wallet, the government says. Two days later, a barn on the LeBrun’s property was burned to the ground, and within a week of the home invasion, the couple received the first of two threatening letters, in which Mr. Zajkowski allegedly threatened the couple’s children. From Newsday:
“I know where you live, what you do, how you and entire family of yours looks like, everything I need to know,” it read. “… If you want your KIDS to be SAFE, YOU will pay one million $ for each one, 3 kids = 3 million $. It can be 3 payments of 1 million each on the account you receive. Faster you pay all of it, faster I will be gone.”
“Your wife mess with me,” the letter stated. “She should let me do my thing. For that she can consider her horses very lucky that they didn’t fry in that barn. Imagine running horses on fire.”
The LeBruns didn’t pay the ransom, and the threats weren’t acted upon. Mr. Zajkowski was arrested in connection to a 2011 robbery in Connecticut and linked to the Bedford Hills Home invasion; he was charged with one count of attempted robbery, one count of attempted extortion and one count of mailing threatening communications, each of which carries a maximum charge of 20 years in prison.