Mihaly “Mike” Kovacsezics, Scoundrel of Washington Street, Gets Up To 9 Years of State Time

TriBeCa super and career conman (and former FBI informant) Mihaly Kovacsezics was sentenced to three to nine years of state

TriBeCa super and career conman (and former FBI informant) Mihaly Kovacsezics was sentenced to three to nine years of state prison for stealing jewelry and paintings from the Washington Street building he worked in, Manhattan prosecutors announced today.

Mr. Kovacsezics, whose long and strange criminal past was featured in the Observer last November, had plead guilty in February to all charges, including one count of grand larceny in the second degree and two counts of grand larceny in the third degree. 

Mihaly "Mike" Kovacsezics

During his sentencing in a Manhattan courtroom this morning, Mr. Kovacsezics sat quietly as Roxane West, the woman whose aunt Shirley West owned 427 Washington Street and who hired Mr. Kovacsezics as a superintendent, gave a tearful statement on how he had ruined her trust by stealing her aunt’s life’s work in paintings, according to a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

When reached by phone, a still-emotional Ms. West declined comment.

The Hungarian native was charged with stealing paintings worth approximately $13,365 shortly after Shirley West’s death in 2010. He was also charged with stealing 13 pieces of jewelry worth $60,475 from a friend and business associate whom he agreed to sell on consignment.

In addition, he nicked $23,380 worth of jewelry from another resident at 427 Washington Street, a prominent doctor, who had asked Mr. Kovacsezics to wait in his apartment for a delivery.

The 62-year-old had spent most of his life in-and-out of prison, all the while working on the side as an FBI informant.

As the Observer originally reported:

In the late 1970s Mr. Kovacsezics was facing two charges of car theft in Florida when he was first approached by the FBI to work as a “cooperating witness,” according to a former law enforcement official who dealt with him. Seeing that Mr. Kovacsezics spoke six languages fluently, including Russian and Polish, the FBI conscripted him to infiltrate a Brooklyn-based Polish car ring, which was stealing new model cars, putting them into shipping containers and then sending them to Gdansk, Poland.

“We would put him into these areas to work that we couldn’t penetrate,” said the source, who refused to give his name. “Within a matter of months, he broke the entire ring.”

That FBI source had this to add about Mr. Kovacsezics:

“You have to keep eyes on him at all times, otherwise he’ll steal your fucking watch and your shirt.”

drosen@observer.com 

Mihaly “Mike” Kovacsezics, Scoundrel of Washington Street, Gets Up To 9 Years of State Time