WE NEED YOUR HELP — Support your hometown newspaper by making a donation.

Five Towns native Jeffrey Yohai sentenced to 9 years for series of schemes


Five Towns native Jeffrey Yohai, the son of former Hewlett Harbor Trustee Michael Yohai, was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution on Nov. 8 for a series of schemes that bilked more than $13 million from people, including one that took $3 million from Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman.

Yohai, who is Paul Manafort’s former son-in-law, pleaded guilty to a variety of impudent frauds, including renting out luxury homes without the owners permission, selling nonexistent backstage passes for the Coachella music festival, and selling band equipment that did not belong to him.

He also swindled renowned photographer Guy Aroch, who invested millions in real estate deals. A portion of the schemes were conducted while Yohai was on bond after pleading guilty in a real estate fraud case nearly two years ago.

Prosecutors asked for a 15-year prison sentence. Nine years is considered lengthy for financial fraud. The sentence is 1 ½ years longer than the term Manafort received on tax and fraud convictions from a jury trial in Virginia last year that also included two guilty pleas that were part of an agreement to avoid a second trial in Washington on charges of money-laundering, obstruction of justice and being an unregistered foreign agent.

Manafort, a longtime Republican lobbyist and political consultant, and Yohai were involved in several real estate projects to build and flip luxury homes in Los Angeles.

One of Manafort’s bank fraud crimes had him providing falsified information to obtain a loan from the Banc of California on properties in which he invested with Yohai.