Close comrades of Mayor Eric Adams who put together an investment deal involving insurance settlements have now turned on each other, with some partners alleging that they’ve been bilked out of more than $12 million.
Financial Vision Group sued Daniel Kandhorov on Nov. 28 in Nassau County Supreme Court for allegedly misleading its members about how much money they could make in the investment scheme, which involves cash advances on expected health insurance payouts.
Kandhorov — who told THE CITY he is a “good friend” of the mayor — owns a group of companies that fronted money to medical-billing groups. As THE CITY previously reported, his employees doled out thousands of dollars in contributions to Adams’ election campaign.
Adams attended the Thanksgiving Day wedding of Kandhorov’s son, the New York Times reported.
Members of Financial Vision Group include Howard Fensterman and his son Jordan, of the powerful law firm Abrams Fensterman LLP. Adams’ recently departed chief of staff, Frank Carone, was a partner at Abrams Fensterman before leaving to join the administration a year ago, and was also a member of Financial Vision Group. The law firm has close ties to the Brooklyn Democratic Party and Adams.
The plaintiffs say they entered a deal with Kandhorov and others in March 2021, agreeing that he would refer some medical providers to Financial Vision Group, which would then give the medical companies cash advances as they waited for insurance payments, according to the lawsuit. Financial Vision agreed to make 5% “referral payments” to Kandhorov for the clients he sent their way.
But Kandhorov allegedly “misrepresented” the medical cases — including some services that weren’t “proper and legitimate,” according to the suit.
Specifically, the cases sent to Financial Vision Group were supposed to be no-fault claims and generated by the medical providers, but many were neither, the suit alleges.
This misrepresentation caused Financial Vision’s investors to lose approximately $12.4 million, the lawsuit alleges.
In an email to THE CITY, Kandhorov called the allegations “baseless” and said there was “no proof” of any wrongdoing.
He said he was “sure it will be resolved very soon.”
Howard Fensterman told THE CITY that a settlement agreement had been reached, but declined to comment further.
The lawsuit also names Peka Group, an investment company and hospitality group, as defendants in the alleged fraud.
Up until recently, Peka Group was the operator of restaurants run by Robert and Zhan Petrosyants, twin brothers who also have a close relationship with the mayor, as well as past federal convictions for money laundering.
At some point last year, Peka Group’s website was shut down — but archives of the site show the group ran multiple restaurants, including Osteria La Baia in Midtown, a favorite hangout spot for the mayor.
A lawyer for the Petrosyants brothers, Akiva Ofshtein, told THE CITY in an email: “The Petrosyants deny any involvement in Peka.”
Kandhorov also said the twins are no longer involved in Peka Group.
A Trail of Schemes
In August, the Financial Vision Group team also sued 13 medical groups and doctors across New York City and Long Island, alleging a breach of contract in the cash-advance agreement, according to the lawsuits.
Those lawsuits are still active in Nassau County Supreme Court, records show.
The medical-billing scheme, which highlighted financial ties between Kandhorov and Carone, was originally revealed in a September 2020 lawsuit filed by GEICO in Brooklyn federal court, with the insurance company alleging that medical groups billed them for more than $4.5 million in fraudulent claims. That suit was first reported by Bloomberg News last February, but was dismissed “without prejudice” in July, according to court documents.
In March, THE CITY reported that seven employees of two Kandhorov-connected medical companies in New Jersey first began donating thousands of dollars to Adams’ campaign treasury in 2018, when he was still Brooklyn borough president.
At the time the story was published, mayoral spokesperson Maxwell Young said Carone had been a passive investor in the companies now named in the lawsuit and never solicited donations for the eventual mayor.
Financial Vision Group registered a total of four limited liability companies in Delaware, according to financial records filed with the state, which were partially controlled by Carone and the Fenstermans. But Carone and the Fenstermans ended their involvement after they lost money in the deal, according to the lawsuit.
Once he became Adams’ chief of staff, Carone moved his other investments into a blind trust while he worked in the administration, Young told THE CITY in March.
Carone left his City Hall role last month to launch a public affairs firm called Oaktree Solutions, which has global ambitions, Politico reported Wednesday. He declined to comment for this story.
Kandhorov — who once beat a federal charge that he hired a Brighton Beach gang known as “The Brooklyn Brigade” to burn down a competitor’s deli in Queens — told THE CITY he believes his name will be cleared.
“Anyone can file a suit in USA, that doesn’t mean anything,” he said.