Zhan and Robert Petrosyants, a pair of twins who are close friends with Mayor Adams, still owe the US government more than $580,000 in fines stemming from their guilty pleas to criminal charges nearly a decade ago, officials recently revealed. federal prosecutors in court.
In a previously unreported letter filed in Brooklyn Federal Court on December 5, prosecutors wrote that the Petrosyants, along with their co-defendant, Lasha Goletiani, remain in trouble for $582,590 as part of a judgment they entered in 2015. .
The sentence was handed down against the trio after pleaded guilty in 2014 to violate anti-money laundering laws by causing the reporting of false currency transactions as part of a check cashing scheme.
Court documents at the time indicated that the full amount of the judgment ($667,446.08) should have been paid to the federal government before the date of judgment.
But prosecutors from the Brooklyn US Attorney’s office wrote in the December letter that to date they have paid only $84,856 between the three.
Robert Petrosyants, who was also sentenced to six months in prison for his guilty plea, has spent the smaller part of that, $18,000, while $33,500 came from his twin brother, the feds said. Goletiani paid the remaining $33,356.
A spokesman for the Brooklyn US Attorney’s office declined to comment Friday, as did an attorney for the Petrosyants.
The twin brothers, who are active in the New York City hospitality industry, did not respond to emailed questions and Goletiani’s attorney declined to comment.
Despite their histories, the Petrosyants have for years maintained a close friendship with Adams after first meeting him while he served as a state senator from 2007 to 2013.
Since becoming mayor, Adams has let it be known that he frequently dines at Osteria La Baia, a midtown Manhattan restaurant run by the Petrosyants. The mayor even attended the inauguration of La Baia shortly after his November 2021 election and helped promote the upscale restaurant on social networks
A source directly familiar with the matter said Adams continues to socialize regularly with the Petrosyants, especially Zhan, who goes by “Johnny.”
City Campaign Finance Board files show that Adams’ ties to the Petrosyants go beyond social functions.
Last March, Adams’ 2025 re-election campaign paid La Baia $1,000 to host a fundraising “meet and greet” at the W. 52nd St. restaurant, CFB’s show business.
As first reported by the Daily News, the Petrosyants also referred clients a few years ago to a health insurance company co-founded by Frank Carone, the mayor’s former chief of staff who is now the chairman of his re-election campaign.
Amid the controversy over his ties to the brothers, Adams has said that he sees his friendship with them as a kind of mentorship.
“You all know how I am about giving people a chance. I mentor people every day,” he told reporters in February 2022 when asked about the Petrosyants. “You’d be surprised at the kind of people I mentor to get back on track.”
Adams’ spokesman, Fabien Levy, said Friday that the mayor has never spoken to the brothers about their unpaid federal debt. Levy also said: “While we won’t comment on the details of any particular case, we expect anyone, friends of the mayor or not, to comply with their legal obligations.”
According to the feds, the check cashing scheme the Petrosyants were involved in featured medical billing firms submitting false and inflated claims to insurance companies to secure ill-gotten payments.
In December, The New York Times reported Federal investigators are looking into allegations that companies connected to the Petrosyants misrepresented federal pandemic relief loan applications.
John Kaehny, executive director of government watchdog group Reinvent Albany, said Adams is “wasting” public trust by not distancing himself from the Petrosyants.
“It raises a lot of questions about his trial and his role as mayor,” Kaehny said. “I think the mayor genuinely looks at these guys as friends and he wants to help them, but when he became mayor, he stopped being Eric Adams the guy and became Eric Adams the mayor. The things that he could do as Eric Adams, the guy, you can’t do anymore, because it reflects on his office. He makes people wonder why he hangs out with these people.”