The wife of a Long Island genius who invented supermarket self-checkout lanes has accused him of giving away $80 million of their money — including $6 million to his mistresses — to keep it out of her hands.But Jerome Swartz, 75, says that while he may be a tech whiz, he’s bad with money — and lost it all in the 2008 stock-market crash.
His wife, Starnette, 67, says in a lawsuit that her hubby of 28 years committed “massive fraud” by spending “millions of my assets to support a lavish lifestyle, including gifts and tuition payments for his mistresses and their children.”
Jerome, of Lloyd Harbor, spent $6 million on his paramours in 2011 alone, says the suit, filed in Suffolk County Supreme Court.
Starnette also accuses Jerome — who devised the technology behind the bar-code scanner — of forgiving $5 million in loans to his children from a previous marriage, hiding the profits from the sale of their $12 million East Setauket home and squandering millions of dollars more in an attempt to buy a stake in Miramax.
She gets $20,000 a month in support from her soon-to-be ex, court papers say.
The couple also owns an apartment at the Trump Tower on Central Park, a Jaguar XK8, a Cadillac limo and two Picasso paintings.
They have no children.
The spending violates court orders in a pending divorce action that bar Jerome from moving marital funds, the court papers say.
Starnette’s suit says the money transfers were all done secretly.
Starnette filed for divorce in April 2009, citing “irreconcilable differences,” and when she found Jerome’s assets were much lower than expected, she sued him again in civil court.
In May, Justice Thomas Whelan ruled Starnette must wait until her divorce is concluded before going after Jerome for the money.
Her lawyer, Michael Leon, said he’d appeal the ruling.
Jerome was a head of Symbol Technologies and was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1999.
His lawyer did not return calls for comment, but Jerome has said he lost the money in the market crash
Additional reporting by Jennifer Bain and Gabrielle Fonrouge