An Eastern European mobster who once blew money on flashy cars and pricey Kanye West sneakers cried poor in Brooklyn federal court Wednesday — telling a judge he “can’t afford” to hire a lawyer as he demanded his fourth court-appointed defender.
Aleksey Tsvetkov — who was convicted last year for running a violent syndicate of the “Thieves in Law” gang in southern Brooklyn — was set to be sentenced Wednesday, but whined to Judge Brian Cogan that he’s had “a lot of issues” with his current public defender, his third, and wants a new one.
Wearing a beige prison jumpsuit and armed with a thick folder he called “research,” Tsvetkov told the judge he wants the new lawyer to argue in favor of a lenient sentencing.
Cogan asked Tsevtkov why he didn’t just hire his own private counsel.
“I can’t afford one,” claimed Tsevtkov, who once rocked $1,500 Yeezy sneakers and rolled in a Porsche Panamera — new models of which start at $86,300.
Cogan agreed to get him a new attorney — if he can prove his financial woes.
“It may be that the problems are not with your lawyers, it’s with you,” Cogan said. “You can’t keep going through lawyers.”
The judge moved the sentencing to Sept. 27.
In 2016, Tsvetkov and an accomplice, “Lenny” Gershman, were accused of torching a rival poker ring they believed were stealing their clients in Sheepshead Bay, authorities said.
The blaze they sparked trapped two residents, including a 12-year-old boy, and injured an FDNY firefighter.
The pair was found guilty of racketeering, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion, arson and marijuana distribution charges after a three-week trial last year.
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