- Posted January 21, 2011 by
Saratoga Springs, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
“No More Movies For Courtney” Designer Slams Frozen River Movie Director And ProducersI
Alleged Involvement In Delta Air Lines Smuggling Ring, Fannie Mae Foreclosure And Eviction Scam
New York, NY
Accessory designer Jacquelyn Sheftz-Snow, former wife of Delta Air Lines pilot Winthrop E. Snow, alleges that Frozen River movie director, Courtney Hunt and her lawyer-producer husband Donald A. Harwood and their upstate New York production company Hunt-Harwood Productions in Chatham, NY, have had direct, ongoing involvement with her ex-husband in the Delta Air Lines smuggling ring of counterfeit fashion goods, and in the Fannie Mae foreclosure eviction scam in which she and her mother were both victims.
The recently divorced wife of the New York City based Delta Air Lines pilot alleges that her ex-husband and a group of Delta pilot's and co-workers, harassed, threatened, intimidated, bastardized her work and intellectual property, and inflicted emotional pain and suffering on her in an effort to stop her from exposing the ring.
Accessory designer Jacquelyn Sheftz-Snow, alleges that ex-husband Win Snow, and his pilot peers and co-workers at Delta, along with Hunt and Harwood employed countless, threatening, intimidation tactics and used their influence, family relationships, and connections with attorneys and judges in their divorce case to assist her husband hide assets and to make her fearful to come forward about the importing of counterfeit goods by Delta flight crews.
Donald A. Harwood, of Itkowitz and Harwood in New York City, was the lead attorney in the couple’s foreclosure and title lawsuits, now allegedly known to be a bogus scam perpetrated by Harwood and Hunt in an effort to raise funds for the making of the film Frozen River, and to assist her husband hide assets prior to their divorce.
According to the designer, her former husband had told her that the law firm of Itkowitz and Harwood, both also producers on the film Frozen River, used her name and reputation when she was designing Web sites to get investors.
The accessory designer was written about in many media releases in 2003 and 2004 for her brilliant, original and creative, yet simple, advertising design format that would span many industries. At the time, the designer leased a virtual office in Manhattan under the corporate name of Worldwide International Network, Inc., yet never used the space nor did any business even to date. The designer states that she scrapped the applications and business several years back after constant harassment and stalking issues.
Sheftz Snow says that her husband told her that someone may want to give her $100 million dollars for a Web application that she had designed and that Harwood and his law firm partner Jay B. Itkowitz may have taken investment monies by hiring a woman to impersonate her.
Harwood’s and his wife, Courtney Hunt-Harwood are both lawyers turned filmmakers. Harwood and his wife own Hunt-Harwood Productions in Chatham, NY. Sheftz-Snow said she didn’t know that when she was seeing Harwood in his Chatham, NY office for legal conferences that she was also in the office of Hunt-Harwood Productions.
The designer goes on to state that during a conference with Harwood she mentioned that she had read about the Herman Cohen case in Florida. She said Harwood asked for a copy of the case if she could find it. She did and gave it to Harwood and now believes that's where he got the idea for helping her husband hide assets. Sheftz-Snow states,"He pulled a Herman Cohen, a Florida Bar case in the late seventies, early eighties. Cohen, a lawyer, wanted to hide assets in case he got sued, so he created a bogus mortgage as a subterfuge on his property and assets, then foreclosed upon it and fraudulently conveyed the property to others. The Florida Courts found the bogus mortgage and documents to be a ‘shocking exercise in duplicity’ and set aside the fraudulent conveyance. Cohen was later disbarred."
Sheftz-Snow alleges her husband used his connections and status at Delta to buy off judges and cops in the foreclosure and divorce case, and during their separation lived on a street where many cops live. She states that her husband failed to give her any support since their separation in January 2008, after he came at her with his car missing her, then hitting her car. According to Sheftz-Snow her husband started a campaign trying to discredit her, telling law enforcement that she was crazy so that they would not believe her and investigate her claims.
Delta pilots Schellinger and Harwood were connected to attorneys in both the divorce and foreclosure cases. Sarah Courtney Schellinger was one of Winthrop E. Snow's attorneys in the divorce case. She and her family are neighbors, just a few doors down, from Judge Thomas Nolan, the judge in the Snow's divorce case. Nolan rendered a decision of divorce without ever telling the designer of a court date, and in 2009 set the case for trial without a complaint ever being filed. Nolan also allowed two cases, one filed in 2008 and one in 2009 by Winthrop E. Snow, to go forward without ever telling Sheftz-Snow of another case being filed.
Harwood was executive producer on his wife Courtney Hunt’s film entitled Frozen River. A somber movie, oddly enough about a real-life smuggling zone of illegal immigrants on a Native American reservation between New York and Quebec. Co-Executive producer was Jay B. Itkowitz, the other attorney in the foreclosure and title actions. The film won several awards for Hunt-Harwood’s directorial debut and an Oscar nomination for lead actress Melissa Leo. The film was purchased by Sony Pictures Classic.
On Sunday night, January 16, Melissa Leo won a Golden Globe for supporting actress in the film, The Fighter. However, according to the accessory designer, Leo allegedly may have been paid for her work in the movie Frozen River by monies stolen from the designer and her mother, in addition to monies allegedly stolen from the use of the designer’s identity and the identity of her corporation.
Harwood practices law in New York and Massachusetts. He specializes in criminal law. According to Sheftz-Snow he has represented some of the most heinous, repulsive criminals in Massachusetts, unknown to the designer at the time when she and her ex-husband hired him. Donald A. Harwood has represented defendants accused and convicted of child rape, sodomy and murder.
The New York City law firm of Itkowitz and Harwood, at 305 Broadway in Manhattan ran up almost $130,000 in bogus legal fees on the Sheftz-Snow property, without ever requesting a subpoena or taking a deposition.
The principal in the firm, Jay B. Itkowitz, also co-producer on film Frozen River, is alleged to have taken out at least $4.6 million in loans that match up to date ranges and time lines of 29 property valuation reports on the Sheftz-Snow home, totaling almost $ 6.4 million and ordered by Fannie Mae, M&T Bank and Safeguard properties in Brooklyn, Ohio.
Allegedly, Itkowitz, a lawyer turned producer, and his "also lawyer wife" Michelle Maratto, went wild in the loan department that began with a $500,000 note spree on May 13, 2004, during the same time period that the accessory designer was considered to be "a hot commodity" for her Web design applications, and the same date that Fannie Mae and M&T Bank won their summary judgment against the Sheftz-Snow’s.
The designer claimed in court documents that M&T and Fannie Mae had knowledge of an encumbrance and title issues with the property prior to the home’s closing through a appraisal report. A report that was promised but never given to this day by the Fannie Mae and M&T bank. Fannie Mae and M&T produced only a proposed appraisal, completed prior to the home being built, but the final appraisal after the home was completed was never given.
The lower court and the appellate court upheld Fannie Mae’s and the bank’s position and called it moot, stating, "the family was time barred….RESPA violations did not apply". After the court loss, both lawyers turned Hollywood producers, Itkowitz and Harwood, came up with the idea of obtaining the back portion of the neighbor’s land where the drainage and title issues began. The family would then be able to refinance their home and the neighbors would also be free and clear of any title and drainage issues.
However, lead attorney and producer Donald A. Harwood, pushed for a survey on the land immediately. On Sunday June 6, 2004, a survey crew completed the rush request, and Itkowitz and Harwood were informed of it within 48 hours. On June 8, 2004, lawyer and Frozen River co-producer, Jay B. Itkowitz, along with brother Norman Itkowitz, filed and recorded a $396,000 agreement with JP Morgan Chase in Hicksville, NY.
Sheftz-Snow goes on to allege, "This is an intentional infliction of emotional stress and pain upon myself and my mother because I didn't do what they wanted me to do, create Web sites for the importing of counterfeit fashion goods. In June, my now ex-husband wanted me to sign off on fraudulent tax returns. When I refused, he had his attorneys of the Bianchini Law Firm, and the Saratoga County, New York Sheriff's office throw me out of my home with fraudulent foreclosure papers on September 30, 2010. My mother was thrown out with her nightgown and slippers on. We were told we could not stay while the Sheriff, Social Services and unknown movers went through our belongings, violating our civil rights. I wanted to stay and make sure that our belongings were packed properly. The Sheriff and social services said we could not. If I did not go along, I would be arrested. I told them it was a fraud and begged them to listen. They did not. All of all precious belongings, our life, our identity….all have been compromised, all have been stolen. I am being blackmailed now for money to get them back, to access them, I don’t know where they are. We are cold."
The accessory designer says that until she is made whole again, she will continue to slam Courtney Hunt, Donald Harwood and Hunt-Harwood Productions and all the producers of the movie Frozen River for their alleged involvements in the counterfeit fashion ring, and in the theft and scam of her home, belongings, monies and identity.
The designer states, " People, Hollywood and the fashion and entertainment industries need to be aware of what Hunt and Harwood did to make the movie Frozen River. They stole from me and my 94 year old mother and then had us thrown out of our home...all to make a movie and walk a red carpet! There are no words for how shameful and disgusting these people are."