A failed stock trader who for years has been the prime suspect in his wife’s murder was finally arrested Sunday after allegedly blabbing to his girlfriend about what he had done, sources told The Post.
Rod Covlin, 42, “made statements implicating himself” in the New Year’s Eve 2009 slaying of his banker wife, Shele Danishefsky Covlin, who was found dead in a bathtub at her Upper West Side apartment, law enforcement sources said.
Covlin was less than two months away from inheriting half of her $4 million fortune until prosecutors charged him with murder Monday. The fortune has been kept in a trust due to a wrongful-death suit filed against him in 2011.
Under an agreement, Covlin could inherit the funds if he was not found responsible for Shele’s death, if the Manhattan DA said he was no longer a suspect or if six years passed after her death, court papers say.
Dec. 31 will mark the six-year anniversary of the 47-year-old mother’s slaying.
When Covlin’s girlfriend went to authorities, she gave them the ammunition to indict him, sources said.
“This one would be a great ‘Law & Order’ episode,” a source said.
“We always knew he did it. [But] the DA’s office is very conservative in prosecuting homicide cases. So the case proceeded very slowly.”
Covlin — a Columbia grad who sponged off his wife while pursuing a passion for backgammon — was arrested on a warrant at the Metro-North station in Scarsdale at around 11 a.m. Sunday as he headed to his weekly visit with their kids, who live with his parents.
“He was totally stunned,” said a source. “He wasn’t expecting this at all. He had a blank stare on his face.”
Shele’s family hailed the arrest.
“It’s about time. I hope he gets what he deserves,’’ her ailing mom, Jaelene Danishefsky, 84, said from her home in Hillside, NJ.
But “there will never be closure. She’s gone, and that’s all there is to it. I think of her every day.”
The family’s lawyer, Marilyn Chinitz, said, “Hallelujah! We’re just thrilled that justice is going to be served.”
Rod Covlin, of New Rochelle, was arraigned Monday on felony murder charges in Manhattan Criminal Court, where he uttered just two words: “Not guilty.”
Shele’s sister, Eve, Eve’s husband and several other relatives sat in the courtroom and declined to comment afterward.
Covlin, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, was ordered held without bail.
His lawyer, Robert Gottlieb, insisted that his client is innocent.
“We have said from the beginning, years ago, that Mr. Covlin has been the focus of enormous pressure to be charged with these crimes,” he said.
Shele’s body was found by the couple’s then-9-year-old daughter face-down in the bathtub of her West 68th Street home. Their son, then 3, was asleep in another room.
Shele, who worked for UBS, was set to meet with lawyers the next day to cut Covlin from her will.
Her estate included more than $3.5 million in life insurance policies.
Cops initially thought Shele accidentally slipped. The only visible wound was a cut on her head. And, as per custom, her Orthodox Jewish parents at first refused an autopsy.
She was quickly buried in Hawthorne in Westchester. But nagging questions led her parents to agree to an autopsy three months later.
It found “a bone in her throat was broken by force,” a source said.
Shele’s divorce lawyer, Dominic Barbara, told The Post: “The moment I was told she died, I said, ‘He killed her’ . . . He was violent.”
Shele had received a “get,” the Jewish equivalent of a divorce, and gotten a restraining order against Covlin a month before she died.
But he still had keys to her apartment. In fact, he was living in an apartment across the hall.
The DA declined to comment.