David Christopher Schlachet, 55, declared bankruptcy after he was accused of running a Ponzi scheme
The estranged husband of the New York City socialite who was found dead after falling down a 27-story garbage chute had gone bankrupt after allegedly running a Ponzi scheme.
Lara Prychodko, 48, was found dead and ‘crushed from multiple angles’ on Tuesday after falling through her Manhattan apartment’s garbage chute.
Police say she was drunk when she took the fall, but her father believes she was the victim of foul play.
She was in the middle of a contentious divorce with her estranged husband David Christopher Schlachet, 55, who runs construction company Taocon, Inc. in New York, for which he declared bankruptcy on November 16, 2016.
That same year he and Prychodko filed for divorce.
He declared bankruptcy in 2016, the same year he divorced his estranged wife Lara Prychodko, 48, who died Tuesday after falling down a 27-story garbage chute in her building
Prychodko was going through several struggles at the time of her death including losing custody of her son and receiving orders for regular drug and alcohol testing, according to her attorney
Surveillance footage showed the 48-year-old staggered off the elevator on the 27th floor of her building Tuesday afternoon, shortly before she was found dead. It’s believed she fell down this trash chute
Schlachet filed for bankruptcy one day after he and his partners were accused of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme with the money billionaire financier Joseph Bae gave Taocon Inc. to renovate his $20million Upper East Side town house, according court documents obtained by the New York Post.
Taocon Inc was contracted in 2013 to renovate the Bae’s townhouse. Bae paid more than $12million for the renovations according to court papers, but as of last May the renovations were incomplete.
This week Schlachet and Prychodko were in mediation to divide up their properties – a home in the Hamptons and apartments in Chelsea and Williamsburg – before she suddenly died, according to her lawyer.
Prychodko was struggling with many issues at the time of her death.
She lost custody of her son and was required to undergo regular drug and alcohol testing as part of the settlement, her attorney Eric A. Seiff.
She had a 2012 conviction for driving while intoxicated and allegedly told her lawyer that she believed her addiction issues were brought on by a ‘growing brain tumor’.
The mediation with her husband had been postponed for the last month, although her lawyer would not detail why.
Schlachet declared bankruptcy one day after billionaire financier Joseph Bae (above) accused his company of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme
Bae said Schlachet ran a Ponzi scheme with the money he gave his company to renovate his $20million Upper East Side town house, the red brick apartment pictured above
He declared bankruptcy in 2016, the same year he and Prychodko filed for divorce, pictured together with their son Talin
‘I’m kind of uncomfortable talking about the litigation, as difficult and contentious as it was. There is a young child, a father and an estranged husband who must be going through their own turmoil,’ her attorney Seiff said.
Police are investigating how she ended up in her building’s trash compactor.
Surveillance footage allegedly shows Prychodko staggering out of the elevator and onto the 27th floor at 4:20pm on Tuesday.
She is believed to have fallen in the chute and a maintenance worker found her around 30 minutes afterwards.
Prychodko had been living in the building for just six months, due to her divorce.
Despite the police’s determination that she fell in a drunken incident, her father Nicholas Prychodko says such an explanation is ‘inconceivable’ and ‘preposterous,’ adding that the theory has left him ‘incredulous.’
‘She was brutally murdered in a sadistic way. She would have never done this to herself,’ Nicholas Prychodko said Friday.
‘She had no reason to go into that area. She had just gotten off the elevator,’ he added.
Prychodko had been living in this luxury building in Union Square for the past six months
The chute is found inside the refuse closet in one of the floors of the luxury apartment building
Nicholas Prychodko is currently in New York from his native Canada to claim Lara’s remains from the city examiner’s office.
He says he is in contact with police and ‘they have asked us not to talk about the details of what they know.’
‘I can’t get into the details of why circumstantially I’m convinced it wasn’t possible, because it’s part of an active investigation.’
‘In our family in Canada . . . nobody believes Lara could ever do anything like this to herself, either by accident or suicide. My daughter never spoke of suicide. She is a great believer in self-help,’ he added.
NYPD spokesman Lt. John Grimpel said that ‘detectives are actively investigating her death,’ but noted that there ‘is no evidence at this time that she was murdered.’
The couple were regularly pictured on the Manhattan social circuit and in The Hamptons before they parted ways.
Their wedding was announced by The New York Times in 2003. They had one son, Talin, together.
David declined to comment when contacted by DailyMail.com on Wednesday evening.
People inside the building are at a loss over what may have happened.