A woman who claimed she was coached by an attorney to lie before a grand jury probing a narcotics death was convicted yesterday in Manhattan federal court. Nicole Zobkiw was convicted on two counts of perjury and a single count of obstruction of justice before Southern District Judge P. Kevin Castel (See Profile) for lying about the death of Kimberly Calo, who overdosed on cocaine given to her by banana importer Thomas Hoey during a 2009 orgy at an Upper East Side hotel.
In her defense at trial, Zobkiw played a tape of Great Neck attorney Barry Balaban, acting on behalf of Hoey, coaching her before her 2011 grand jury appearance to say she was drunk and that she saw no drugs on the night Calo died. Balaban was arrested on Jan. 29 and indicted for subornation of perjury, influencing a witness and witness tampering. He has not made an appearance on the indictment. His lawyer, Barry Weinstein of Goldstein & Weinstein in the Bronx, declined to comment yesterday. Zobkiw was represented by Leonard Lato of Central Islip. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Garnett and Ian P. McGinley prosecuted the case.