Jean and Robert Petrosiants, a pair of twins who are close friends of 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, federal prosecutors recently said in court.
In a previously undisclosed letter filed in Brooklyn Federal Court on Dec. 5, prosecutors wrote that Petrosyants, along with his defendant Lasha Goletiani, remain on the hook for $582,590 as part of a judgment they handed down in 2015.
The judgment came against the trio after they pleaded guilty in 2014 to violating anti-money laundering laws by causing false currency transaction reports to be filed as part of a check cashing scheme.
Court documents at the time stated that the full amount of the judgment, $667,446.08, was to be paid to the federal government by the date of sentencing.
But prosecutors at the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote in a December letter that they had only paid $84,856 between the three of them to date.
Robert Petrosyants, who was also sentenced to six months in prison for a guilty plea, received the smallest part of that amount, $18,000, with $33,500 coming from his twin brother, the feds said. Goletiani paid the remaining $33,356.
A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn declined to comment on Friday, as did attorney Petrosyants.
The twin brothers, who work in the New York hospitality industry, did not respond to email questions, and Goletiani’s lawyer declined to comment.
Despite their history, the Petrosians maintained a close friendship with Adams for many years after first meeting him when he was a state senator between 2007 and 2013.
After becoming mayor, Adams made it clear that he frequently dined at Osteria La Baia, a restaurant in midtown Manhattan run by the Petrosians. The mayor even attended the opening of La Baia shortly after his election in November 2021 and helped promote an upscale diner in social networks.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter said that Adams continues to communicate regularly with the Petrosiants, especially with Jean, whose name is Johnny.
City council campaign finance documents show that Adams’ ties to the Petrosians extend beyond social functions.
Last March, Adams’ 2025 re-election campaign paid La Baie $1,000 to host a “meet and greet” fundraiser at the W. 52nd St. diner, a CFB bid exhibit.
As the Daily News first reported, the Petrosiants also recommended clients years ago to a health insurance company co-founded by Frank Carone, the mayor’s former chief of staff who now heads his campaign.
Amid controversy over his ties to the brothers, Adams said he views his friendship with them as a kind of mentorship.
“You all know how I give people an opportunity. I instruct people every day,” he told reporters in February 2022, when asked about the Petrosyants. “You would be surprised to see the people I mentor to get them back on track.”
Adams spokesman Fabien Levy said Friday that the mayor never spoke to the brothers about their unpaid federal debt. Levy also said, “While we won’t comment on the details of either case, we expect anyone, friend of the mayor or not, to abide by their legal obligations.”
According to the feds, the check-cashing scheme the Petrosyants were involved in included billing medical firms that made false and inflated claims to insurance companies to secure ill-gotten payouts.
In December, the New York Times reported that federal investigators were investigating allegations that companies associated with Petrosyants misrepresented loan applications for federal pandemic aid.
John Kahney, executive director of government watchdog group Reinvent Albany, said Adams was “squandering” public trust by not distancing himself from Petrosyants.
“This raises a lot of questions about his judgment and his role as mayor,” Kaheni said. “I think the mayor sincerely looks at these guys as friends and wants to help them, but when he became mayor, he stopped being Eric Adams the guy and became Eric Adams the mayor. What he could do as Eric Adams’ boyfriend, you can’t do anymore because it’s reflected in his office. It makes people wonder why he hangs out with these people.”