NYC socialite found dead in trash chute at luxury apartment 'was buried in debt' and may have been killed

Lara Prychodko was found lifeless after falling 27 floors from her $6,500-per-month apartment in Manhattan on July 18, 2018


                            NYC socialite found dead in trash chute at luxury apartment 'was buried in debt' and may have been killed
(Getty Images)

A supposedly wealthy socialite from New York, who was found dead in 2018 at the bottom of a trash chute of her luxury apartment, was "buried in debt" at the time of her demise, according to reports. The mystery surrounding 48-year-old Lara Prychodko has intensified after the latest development in the case. On July 18, 2018, Prychodko, a mother of one, was found lifeless after falling 27 floors from her $6,500-per-month apartment at Zeckendorf Towers in Union Square, Manhattan.

Authorities probing Prychodko's death at the time had concluded that she had drunkenly fallen into the chute by accident. The famed pathologist, Michael Baden, however, later in a private autopsy had stated that the 48-year-old may have been strangled to death before being put in the garbage chute. 

Nearly two years after the incident, as the circumstances surrounding her death continue to remain uncertain, Prychodko's lawyers have reportedly filed a lawsuit against her estranged husband David Schlachet, revealing that the socialite had not been employed for five years and was nearly penniless at the time of her death.

The lawyers, in the suit, are seeking $321,629 plus interest from Schlachet, claiming that he kept all of the couple's assets in July 2018, however, he has not taken any action since their client's death to write off her debts. The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, stated that the only money the late socialite had to her name at the time of her demise was in her individual retirement account (IRA) which would have gone towards paying off her creditors.

Prychodko's attorneys have alleged that Schlachet, a construction executive, illegally transferred the money to their son’s beneficiary account, which he personally administers. "As a result of the IRA transfer, Ms. Prychodko’s estate has no meaningful assets to distribute to her creditors, and to date no distribution has been made," the suit documents claimed, according to the New York Post. The lawyers have also alleged that Schlachet moved the money because he knew Prychodko owed "substantial attorneys’ fees" and wanted to "hinder, delay or defraud" her legal team which also assisted her in her divorce. 

Court documents claimed that the 48-year-old socialite was laid off from her job at WebMD in 2013 and had "no meaningful income" other than $4,375-a-month Schlachet had been ordered to pay her as part of their divorce settlement. A judge, nearly five months before her death, had ordered Schlachet to pay Prychodko $30,000 to help cover her legal fees. Prychodko, who was reportedly having an affair with former WebMD CEO Wayne Gattinella, lost the custody of her 12-year-old son, Talin in the contentious divorce.

Prychodko and Gattinella have reportedly been dating since 2009 and the socialite was putting pressure on Gattinella to leave his wife of 40 years Valerie, the outlet reported. Prychodko, in an email in 2018 to the millionaire, had reportedly written: "I just woke up missing my beautiful amazing son whom I’ve lost because of my love of you. You said you would take care of private school. But you are not. My child deserves the same privilege yours do."

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