Accountant beaten, held in Queens warehouse for $3M ransom in Hollywood-style plot

Posted at 10:49 PM, May 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-23 15:31:21-04

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (PIX11) – The Hollywood-style plot involved a 52-year-old Queens accountant held captive for 32 days inside a Long Island City warehouse.

But Queens D.A. Judge Richard Brown says the torture employed by three suspects against the victim – was real.

“He was burned, he had some acid thrown on his hands, fairly traumatized, and it will take some time before he recovers,” said Brown.

Investigators say one of the suspects flashed what appeared to be an NYPD police badge as he approached Pedro Portugal in front of his accounting office on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens on April 18th.

But there was no official police business.


The man was held captive in this Long Island City warehouse.

Instead, the suspects grabbed Portugal, shoved him inside a vehicle and brought him to the Long Island City warehouse were they held him for $3 million ransom.

Brown continued, “In many respects this was like a James Bond movie. He was tied to a chair, duct taped, ropes put around his wrist, hood was put over his head, and he was brutalized, at times at knife point, threatened with death.”

When asked why Portugal was targeted, Brown replied, “He was targeted apparently in the hopes that he and his family would come up with three million dollars in ransom. Uh, they obviously had some information that he or his family was well to do and was in a position to come up with that kind of money.”

Judge Brown says an anonymous tip came in that led detectives to the victim – who made a run for it just as police moved in to save him.

“Apparently there’s a small room in the warehouse in long island city in which he was being kept. I think as I understand it, the major case detectives came on the scene about the same time the victim was trying to escape,”, said Brown.