Barry Goldstein, sentenced in arson plot, dies

Barry Goldstein     Lance Wheeler/For Columbia-Greene Media

HUDSON — Barry Goldstein, the Columbia County man sentenced to prison in connection with an arson fraud, died after being in state custody for three days, according to state corrections officials.

The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision confirmed that Goldstein died Dec. 25 at 5:13 p.m. and that he had been incarcerated since Dec. 23.

Goldstein, 77, was incarcerated at the Coxsackie Regional Medical Unit at the time of his death. The Coxsackie Correctional Facility contains the Regional Medical Unit, which provides medical care and mental health services to inmates, according to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision website.

Goldstein had been sentenced to 6-18 years in state prison after hiring a man to set his Stockport home on fire in 2017. Goldstein was convicted in January 2020 of first-degree insurance fraud, a class B felony, and third-degree arson, a class C felony. The nine-day trial concluded Jan. 15, according to Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka. At that time Goldstein had been acquitted of another charge, first-degree reckless endangerment, a class D felony.

Rachel Connors, deputy director of public information with the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, said in a statement Wednesday that Goldstein’s official cause of death will be determined and released by the Greene County Medical Examiner’s Office.

County law states that coroners and medical examiners determine whether cause of death is released, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

“County Law §677 leaves it to coroners and medical examiners to determine if results will be released and to whom,” Connors said in a statement. “All deaths in DOCCS’ facilities are reviewed by the state Commission of Correction.”

The Greene County coroner handling Goldstein’s death is Paul Seney of Coxsackie. Seney declined to comment on Goldstein’s death Wednesday morning.

Goldstein’s nine-day trial concluded Jan. 15, 2020. Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said. At that time, Goldstein had been acquitted of another charge, first-degree reckless endangerment, a class D felony.

The delay in sentencing was caused by a number of factors, mostly COVID-19-related, which had postponed the sentencing for about 11 months, Czajka said.

In addition to the sentence, Judge Richard Koweek had ordered Goldstein to pay $52,993 in restitution.

Goldstein was convicted of hiring William Travis, 34, of Stuyvesant Falls, to set fire to his home at 290 Route 25 in Stockport on Oct. 1, 2017, for a $1 million insurance payout, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office.

Arrangements for Goldstein’s death are being handled by Sacco Funeral Home in Hudson. Goldstein was the former co-owner and operator of Blimas Catering in Hudson, according to his obituary.

As of Dec. 28, 116 inmates have died while in custody at state prisons this year, according to DOCCS. In 2019, 113 inmates died.

Goldstein’s daughter, Beth Bagner, declined to comment on her father’s death.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(1) comment

jdh

He was sentenced to more time than he could do. Very sad.

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