While in no way excusing his actions, we have to believe that Judge David Gross believed that the system within which he acted as a judge was a thoroughly corrupt system with no oversight or accountability. So, he could do whatever he wanted, and always get away with it. This man was an active attorney and he saw other lawyers and judges getting away with everything.
Former Nassau judge sentenced for money laundering
BY ALFONSO A. CASTILLO
4:50 PM EST, November 16, 2007
Former Nassau County District Judge David Gross was sentenced Friday on federal charges that he conspired with an accused mobster to launder almost $400,000 in proceeds from stolen jewelry.
Gross, 45, pleaded guilty in July to money laundering conspiracy for his role in the scheme, which was uncovered by the FBI during an investigation into illegal gambling operations involving the Genovese and Gambino crime families.
Gross faced a maximum of 20 years in prison, but was sentenced to 33 months. He will turn himself in to federal authorities in January.
In court, Gross tearfully apologized to his family for letting them down.
Gross also agreed to surrender a 1999 Chrysler 300 automobile that he used to transport the laundered money, a pair of 1.7-carat diamond earrings given to him by an undercover federal agent, and $7,000 -- his cut from the scheme.
With his guilty plea, Gross also faces disbarment, federal prosecutors said.
Federal prosecutors say that in January 2005, while Gross was running for re-election, Genovese crime family member Nicholas Gruttadauria introduced Gross to an undercover FBI agent posing as a jewel thief.
Gross agreed to help the agent launder $130,000 in cash from stolen diamonds and watches through Cafe by the Sea, a Freeport restaurant, prosecutors said. He also agreed to help sell $280,000 worth of stolen jewelry, prosecutors said.
In a recorded conversation, Gross told the agent, "I know which rules not to break and I know how to get around everything else. ... You know, so cash is not a problem."
Gross served as a district court judge in Nassau from 1999 to 2005. During his one term, Gross built a reputation as an eccentric jurist – penning a book about his experiences on the bench entitled "If The Robe Fits," keeping a web site featuring his resume and legal decisions, and making headlines when a neighbor called the police when she caught him showering nude in his Long Beach backyard with his two young children. Gross liked to begin each day on the bench by saying, "Hi. I'm David Gross, and I'm your judge today."