What a wreck.
A Bronx man who has long hunted for a famed shipwreck in Hell Gate — and the fortune it’s rumored to contain — allegedly scammed an investor out of $100,000 by claiming to have gold coins from the long-lost vessel, according to a lawsuit.
But instead of precious metal from the legendary British frigate HMS Hussar, which sank in 1780 in the treacherous waters of Hell Gate — where the tide-driven currents of the East and Harlem Rivers and Long Island Sound converge — Joseph Governali’s purported find was “junk purchased on e-bay,” claims James Kays in a Manhattan Supreme Court filing.
Governali, Astoria lawyer Alex Antzoulatos and Antzoulatos’ brother, Spiro, knew the coins were fake when they got Kays to invest, he charges in court papers.
Kays also accuses the three men of lying to a Manhattan Federal Court judge overseeing a two decade-long proceeding regarding Governali’s lengthy pursuit of the Hussar.
Governali, a one-time actor who also goes by the name Joey Treasures, says in previously filed federal court papers that he heads a group called HMS Hussar Inc. He swore he’d “never give up” in his bid to find the ship.
“I will bring the HMS Hussar to the surface and I will vindicate the borough of the Bronx,” he wrote in 2017 to Judge Loretta Preska, who is overseeing the case. “I’m just a poor kid from the Bronx and a lot of people told me I’d never amount to anything but I kept the vision.
“Like the film ‘Samson and Delilah’ when he’s blind and makes his way to the pillars the whole coliseum is laughing at him … then you hear the crack of the stone and the coliseum goes stone quiet as it will be when CNN announces to the world that the poor kid from the Bronx Joseph Governali has discovered and brought to the surface the remains of the shipwreck HMS Hussar.”
Alex Antzoulatos was suspended from practicing law after complaints of professional misconduct unrelated to the Hussar matter.
Alex and Spiro Antzoulatos, nor Governali, could be immediately reached for comment.
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