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Bayside man mailed threats to prosecutor: Morgenthau

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A 54-year-old Bayside tax preparer has been accused of sending threatening letters to a top prosecutor at the Manhattan district attorney’s office who had supervised an investigation in the 1990s that resulted in his conviction, Manhattan DA Robert Morgenthau said.

Jack Chang, of 28-04 Corporal Kennedy St. in Bayside, has been charged with coercion, placing a false bomb or hazardous substance, stalking and aggravated harassment, the DA said. He is a tax preparer and president of Unitax Planners, PA, which is at 95-13 Roosevelt Ave. in Jackson Heights, Morgenthau said.

Chang was arrested in April on fraud charges in a case conducted by Gilda Mariani, chief of the money laundering and tax crimes unit at the DA’s office, who successfully prosecuted him in the 1990s. If found guilty of the fraud charges, he could be sentenced to 15 years in prison and an additional seven years if convicted of sending the threatening letters, the DA said.

Mariani allegedly received two letters from Chang on June 9. The first note was addressed to her husband and was delivered to her home. The second letter was sent to her office.

Each letter threatened Mariani’s life and the one sent to her home contained a white substance that was later determined to be corn starch.

In one letter, Chang allegedly wrote, “I finally got my 9 mil gun and I am insane. You are responsible for my insanity and I will make sure that you get at least one for each and every year I spent incarcerated. You are the axis of all evil in this planet. Let’s see if Morgenthau is going to show loyalty by putting a 24 hours watch on you.”

The DA’s office accused Chang of sending the letters because one of them was delivered through the DA’s office mail. Chang had been in the DA’s office June 4 and June 5 to give a DNA sample in connection with the grand larceny prosecution being conducted by Mariani, Morgenthau said.

Chang was convicted following an investigation supervised by Mariani in the 1990s after he stole more than $940,000 from as many as 30 clients through a tax scheme between 1988 and 1992, the DA said. In April, he was arrested after he allegedly bilked clients out of $80,000 and has been charged with grand larceny and scheme to defraud, Morgenthau said.

On June 16, investigators rifled through a bag of trash in front of Chang’s house and allegedly discovered a draft of one of the letters sent to the DA’s office. A search warrant was conducted at his home, where investigators allegedly found a computer printout of Mariani’s biography, as well as another threatening letter directed to her.

That letter said, “You will be captured and before you are sent to hell, you will taste hell on earth,” the DA said.

Investigators also allegedly recovered mailing labels resembling those affixed to the letters received by Mariani, Morgenthau said. But no weapons were found in the home.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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