Nearly five months after he launched a criminal investigation, DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James returned with an indictment of Andrea Sneiderman that claims it was all about the money.
On Aug. 2, a DeKalb County grand jury indicted Andrea Sneiderman, widow of slain Dunwoody businessman Rusty Sneiderman, on charges of murder, racketeering, insurance fraud and perjury related to her husband’s death. Andrea Sneiderman was booked into a DeKalb County jail that day after she was arrested at her lake house near Eatonton.
Hemy Neuman was convicted earlier this year of shooting Rusty Sneiderman, a 36-year-old businessman and father, in the parking lot of his son’s day care center in Dunwoody. On March 15, Neuman was found guilty but mentally ill and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Multiple attempts to reach Sneiderman’s attorney were unsuccessful. Lawyer J. Tom Morgan told ajc.com that her defense team denied the charges against her and looked forward to exonerating her.
The eight-count indictment, which reads more like a narrative than a legal document, claims Sneiderman and Neuman were having an affair and “developed and carried out a plan to murder Rusty Sneiderman, with the intent of acquiring property, money and life insurance proceeds.”
Indictment tells a tale of conspiracy leading to murder
Following are excerpts from the 19-page bill of indictment returned against Andrea Sneiderman on Aug. 2. Sneiderman is accused of murder, attempted murder, making false statements, perjury and racketeering in the death of her husband, Rusty Sneiderman. Hemy Neuman, her former boss, has been found guilty of murder while mentally ill in Rusty Sneiderman’s death.
In April of 2010, [Hemy] Neuman was married to Ariela Neuman and they had three grown children. In April of 2010, the Neumans were experiencing extreme financial difficulties and were taking active steps to avoid bankruptcy. In and around July of 2010, the Neumans began experiencing marital difficulties.
In April of 2010, Andrea Sneiderman was married to Russell Sneiderman and they had two young children. In 2010, while the Sneidermans were financially secure, they were having marital difficulties. Almost immediately after being hired [to work for Neuman] Andrea Sneiderman and Neuman began taking business trips together, having dinners together, and began having an affair. During the pendency of the affair, Neuman asked Andrea Sneiderman to be with him forever and to marry him.
Between April 1, 2010, and Feb. 22, 2012, Andrea Sneiderman and Neuman conspired … to engage in an interrelated pattern of criminal activity motivated by and the effect of which was insurance fraud…The conspirators … developed and carried out a plan to murder Rusty Sneiderman with the intent of acquiring property, money and life insurance proceeds as a result…
On the day of his murder, Rusty Sneiderman had two life insurance policies with a combined payout value of $2 million. Andrea Sneiderman was the named beneficiary … and shortly after the murder of Rusty Sneiderman, Andrea Sneiderman received the full payout value…
Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman conspired together to murder Rusty Sneiderman so that they could enjoy a life together, eliminate Neuman’s debt problems and fully benefit from the assets the Sneidermans had acquired…
The indictment says the pair wanted to collect on Rusty Sneiderman’s life insurance, which was worth $2 million, as well as more than $960,000 he had in individual and joint bank accounts with Andrea Sneiderman.
“Neuman and Andrea Sneiderman conspired together to murder Rusty Sneiderman so that they could enjoy a life together, eliminate Neuman’s debt problems, and fully benefit from the assets the Sneidermans had acquired as well as the proceeds of Rusty Sneiderman’s life insurance policies,” the indictment states.
The indictment also accuses Andrea Sneiderman of a criminal attempt to commit murder, saying she provided Neuman with her husband’s schedule on the days leading up to his death. She is also charged with malice murder as a party to the crime.
The grand jury also charged her with racketeering, perjury and making false statements, claiming she misled police by telling them she was not having an affair with Neuman and lied under oath, among other things.
James said her arraignment could be expected in about a month. If Andrea Sneiderman pleads not guilty, the case will go to trial and James said he and his chief assistant would prosecute the case themselves, as they did with Neuman.
“It’s an important case to us and we tried the companion case last time. I don’t see any need to change a formula that worked last time,” James said, referring to Neuman’s guilty verdict.
The case would likely be judged by DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Gregory A. Adams, who also presided over the Neuman trial, James said.
During Neuman’s trial, both James and Neuman’s defense attorneys said they believed Andrea Sneiderman was involved in the murder.
Neuman’s attorney Doug Peters has maintained that his client was manipulated by Andrea Sneiderman.
“In the trial of the case, from the evidence that was presented, we stated that it supported Hemy’s complete innocence and we did not feel evidence showed he was responsible for the death of Rusty Sneiderman but that Andrea Sneiderman was,” Peters said. “We think that’s what the evidence shows in that case and therefore her being charged is not a surprise to us.”
Scott Key, the attorney preparing the appeal of Neuman’s guilty but mentally ill verdict, said he believes Andrea Sneiderman’s trial may bring up more evidence that will help the appeal.
“As this second trial unfolds we look forward to seeing further evidence that supports what our defense has been saying all along,” Key said.
Peters said if the state calls on Neuman to testify against Andrea Sneiderman, he expects him to cooperate.
“What we do know is if he is put in position to testify he will be forthright and honest as he has since the day he was arrested,” Peters said.
Andrea Sneiderman has denied any connection to her husband’s death and rejected claims that she was romantically involved with Neuman when she testified at his trial.
The district attorney’s office has been investigating Andrea Sneiderman since the conclusion of Neuman’s trial in March, James said.
“I’m confident in our case. If I weren’t confident in our case, I wouldn’t have put a case before the grand jury,” James said. “We’re going to put our best foot forward, put all the facts and evidence out there, and at the end of the day it’s going to be up to a jury to make a decision.”