Man Pleads Guilty to 2007 Connecticut Home Invasion, Extortion With Injected Deadly Virus

Man Pleads Guilty to 2007 Connecticut Home Invasion, Extortion With Injected “Deadly Virus”

A Romanian man has pleaded guilty to extortion charges stemming from a 2007 Connecticut home invasion in which he and two other men injected a wealthy couple with what they claimed was a deadly virus and demanded millions of dollars, according to the US Attorney for the District of Connecticut.

Stefan Alexandru Barabas, a 38-year-old Romanian citizen, pled guilty to conspiracy to interfere with commerce by extortion before US District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer on June 18, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office.

According to the announcement, the charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. According to the provisions of a plea deal, which must be recognized by the court, prosecutors and the defense have agreed that a sentence of six to seven years is acceptable.

Barabas fled the United States throughout the inquiry and was captured in Hungary on August 16, 2022.


According to the news release, on the night of April 15, 2007, Barabas and two other males entered a residence in South Kent, Connecticut, dressed in masks and carrying knives and imitation firearms.

According to the Associated Press, the men blindfolded and shackled the home’s tenants, including rich philanthropist Anne Hendricks Bass and abstract artist Julian Lethbridge.

The men injected them with what they claimed was a fatal illness and wanted $8.5 million or they would die.

“When it became clear that the victims were not in position to meet the intruders’ demands, the intruders drugged the two residents with a sleeping aid and fled in the homeowner’s Jeep Cherokee,” according to a news statement from the US attorney’s office. The males left the stolen Jeep at a Home Depot in New Rochelle, New York, the next morning.

In 2010, a Connecticut State Police detective connected a partial Pennsylvania license plate spotted by a witness near the home to a vehicle owned by Michael N. Kennedy.

Investigators discovered that Kennedy, also known as Nicolae Helerea, had previously shared an address with Bass’ former house manager, Emmanuel Nicolescu. Bass had fired Nicolescu, according to the Associated Press.

An investigation indicated that Nicolescu and Kennedy collaborated with Barabas and a fourth guy, Alexandru Nicolescu, to commit the crime, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

According to the US Attorney’s Office, three people entered the home: Barabas, Emanuel Nicolescu, and Alexandru Nicolescu. Throughout the investigation, all four fled the United States.

According to the news announcement, Emanuel Nicolescu and Kennedy were indicted in February 2011, while Barabas and Alexandru Nicolescu were indicted in November 2012.


In 2012, a jury convicted Emanuel Nicolescu. Later that year, Kennedy returned willingly to the United States and pleaded guilty, according to the statement. Alexandru Nicolescu was arrested in the United Kingdom and pleaded guilty in 2016. All three were sentenced to different prison terms.

Bass died in 2020 at the age of 78, according to the Associated Press; she was recognized for raising ballet’s profile in the United States.

“This has been a very lengthy and difficult process. “I am grateful for the professionalism and perseverance of various law enforcement authorities in bringing these individuals to justice,” Lethbridge said in a statement to AP.

“That said, I remain convinced based on the sophistication of the crime, as well as other facts, that there are others who participated in the planning and financing of this crime who have yet to be brought to book,” the prosecutor added. “It is my continued hope that one day all who were involved will be known and that they too will be held to account.”

Bass sadly told the court during Emanuel Nicolescu’s trial that she expected to die that night, according to the Associated Press. She explained that she was caring for her 3-year-old grandson and had just put him to bed.

“I heard war yells, a terrible noise. According to the edition.cnn, she testified that she observed three men clad in black charging up the stairs, almost in military formation.

Bass also stated that the encounter left her traumatized.

“Before the home invasion,” she explained, “I felt fairly safe being there by myself. I can’t stay there alone anymore.”

Barabas’ sentence is planned for September 11. He’s been jailed since his capture.

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