Robert Lustyik, Jr., a member of a family with deep ties to Tarrytown, was arrested by federal investigators from his Philipse Manor home last week.
It’s a story that took Sleepy Hollow by surprise, especially the neighbors nearby when agents reportedly arrived “in full force, guns drawn, wearing bulletproof vests, with a battering ram to knock down the door to arrest Lustyik,” according to an article in LoHud.com.
The New York Times described Lustyik as a career FBI agent “lured by promises of wealth” to where he stands now: facing charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and wire fraud, sent home on $2 million bond with an electronic monitoring device.
Prosecutors allege an ex-Army Special Forces team member by the name of Michael Taylor asked Lustyik to help stamp out a Utah fraud investigation into the $54 million contract Taylor had won to train Afghan commandos.
From the NY Times:
According to prosecutors, Mr. Taylor gave or promised Mr. Lustyik $200,000 in cash, and promised shares in several foreign enterprises, including a contract for security and surveillance equipment to the United Arab Emirates expected to be worth more than $100 million.
During the arraignment in New York City, the Times wrote that his lawyer, Raymond Mansolillo, said prosecutors "had misinterpreted a legitimate relationship to exchange valuable intelligence as a corrupt enterprise."
“They take that information and elaborate on it wildly,” Mansolillo said in court, according to the Times article. “It’s like something out of a novel.”
Sleepy Hollow Police Chief Gregory Camp said he had nothing to add to the story since his department wasn't involved.
Lustyik’s father, Robert Lustyik, who died in 2002, was, according to his obituary from the Dwyer Funeral Home, a longtime member of Conqueror Hose and Ladder, and a Deputy Mayor and Trustee for Tarrytown for many years. His brother, Michael Lustyik, served as a Tarrytown Police Officer.
Tarrytown Police Chief Scott Brown, asked to speak more personally of his history with the family and their service to the Village, said only, “I will not comment on an arrest/investigation conducted by another agency.”
While Robert Jr.’s two siblings moved away, Lustyik settled in neighboring Sleepy Hollow with his then-wife. According to LoHud, they've since divorced and Lustyik lives with a second wife and their two school-aged children.
At Lustyik’s home this weekend, a humble one just off Route 9, there were potted chrysanthemums on the steps and a car in the driveway.
Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray could not vouch for Lustyik as a citizen. He said he didn’t know anything about Lustyik until reading about him, though he recognized the last name. He said, like many, that the story just "took him off guard."
In the LoHud article, neighbors described Lustyik as a good family man.