A New York podiatrist who was released from prison over the summer of 2021 after serving time for a murder-for-hire plot targeting his estranged wife with help from his then-lover now faces an indictment alongside his sister — a lawyer — in connection with yet another alleged attempt at having his wife killed, followed by an apparent cover-up.
One year after Ira Bernstein exited prison, the 49-year-old from Montebello allegedly tried to arrange the murder of his wife Susan Bernstein for a second time. The difference is that this time, his sister Jaclyn Goldberg, a 40-year-old from Bedford and an employment attorney at the firm Keane & Beane, P.C., is accused of playing a role in covering up the alleged conspiracy.
The initial — and sensational — 2016 conspiracy case against Ira Bernstein and Kelly Gribeluk, now 42, ended with the pair’s imprisonment in New York in 2017. That same year, Bernstein and Gribeluk, a former mortician-turned-orthotics saleswoman and mother of three young boys, spoke out about how she and the father of three fell for one another.
“She completely understood me,” Ira told NBC’s “Dateline.” “Like, I found someone who actually got me — and she has a sexy kind of look to her.”
Asked during the “Dateline” interview if they were physically attracted to one another, Gribeluk replied without hesitation.
“Of course,” she said, citing her “chemistry” with the then-active podiatrist.
She said that Ira had opened up about his separation from Susan Bernstein and the two found they had relationship trauma in common.
“I wanted them to do what was best for their family,” Gribeluk claimed.
In reality, however, Kelly had approached a car salesman who once sold her a vehicle to help find a potential hitman who would be paid to kill Ira’s wife.
Kelly was sentenced to four to 12 years and Ira got five to 15 years behind bars, but both of them were paroled in 2021, New York Department of Corrections records show.
Authorities now allege that Ira Bernstein has tried a second time to bring about his estranged wife’s death.
When Rockland County District Attorney Thomas E. Walsh II announced the indictment on Friday, he stated that Ira Bernstein “solicited to have his wife killed.”
“From July 29, 2022 through September 21, 2022, Ira Bernstein is alleged to have solicited the murder of his wife Susan Bernstein and subsequently conspired to destroy evidence of the solicitation with his sister, Jaclyn Goldberg,” the DA’s office said in a press release.
As a result, Bernstein is charged with second-degree criminal solicitation, fourth-degree criminal solicitation, fifth-degree conspiracy, and tampering with physical evidence. Jaclyn Goldberg was indicted for tampering with physical evidence, third-degree hindering prosecution, and fifth-degree conspiracy, prosecutors said.
“I commend the Ramapo Police Department for their investigative work and the detectives from Rockland County District Attorney’s Office who assisted with the case,” Walsh said. “We will now move forward with the prosecution phase of the case.”
Ramapo Police Chief Martin Reilly echoed those remarks in a statement of his own.
“The Ramapo Police Department is proud of the extensive efforts put forth by our Investigations Division and its detectives in securing an indictment against both defendants,” Reilly said. “We are appreciative of the valuable assistance by the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office and their personnel.”
The defendants were arraigned Thursday, June 1, in Judge Robert Prisco’s courtroom, prosecutors said.
The Keane & Beane law firm’s website, as of Monday morning, still featured Goldberg prominently in a photo of their attorneys.
“Ms. Goldberg acts as Labor Counsel to various municipalities and private employers, attending to matters including general compliance with state and federal laws, collective bargaining with unions, employee discipline, improper practice charges, grievance hearings and arbitrations,” her firm bio says in part, noting the lawyer “also concentrates her practice on the defense of police misconduct, malicious prosecution and false arrest.” She was named a member of the firm in 2018, after working there for eight years.
According to the Rockland County DA’s office, Bernstein could face 3.5 to seven years in prison if convicted of the second-degree criminal solicitation charge.
In 2016, Jaclyn Goldberg walked out of court arm in arm with her parents after her brother made bail.
“We have no comment,” Goldberg could be heard saying at the time.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]