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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Corrupt Judge Scarpino and Corrupt Attorney Frank Streng in the News

Malcolm X Trove Hidden During Feud
The New York Times by John Eligon - February 8, 2011

A feud over the estate of Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X, has created divisions among the couple’s six daughters and has resulted in something none of them had intended: keeping part of their father’s legacy from the public. The daughters have traded accusations of irresponsibility, mental incapacity and fiscal mismanagement of the estate, which is worth about $1.4 million. But the greater value may reside in a trove of unpublished works from Malcolm X and Dr. Shabazz. As the dispute drags on in Westchester County Surrogate’s Court, efforts to publish the works have been thwarted by the daughters’ bickering; all must sign off on any plan to sell and release the material, which includes four journals that Malcolm X kept during trips to Africa and the Middle East in 1964, a year before his assassination. The battle represents the latest turn in the complex journey of a family that has come to define the struggle and pride of blacks in America. The clash also underscores the difficulty of preserving the legacy of a prominent figure, especially when it requires uniting competing personalities and visions. Dr. Shabazz died in 1997, three weeks after suffering extensive burns in a house fire set by one of her grandsons. No will was found, even though some believed that one had existed. The matter of her estate moved to Surrogate’s Court, where proceedings often take years. But the Shabazz family’s fight has gone on for more than a decade, prolonged by disputes over what to do with the potentially valuable relics of the parents, as well as objections to the various accountings of the estate’s assets. A lawyer appointed by the Westchester court to represent one of the daughters, Malikah Shabazz, has accused the two daughters assigned to administer the estate, Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz, and their former lawyer of spending estate money on themselves while allowing property and other estate assets to languish and a tax bill to skyrocket. Their failure to account for money and property in the estate has made it difficult to work out the specifics of any licensing pacts, said Malikah Shabazz’s lawyer, Lori Anne Douglass. Dr. Shabazz “worked very hard to try to leave her daughters in a better position,” Ms. Douglass said. “They did not get their inheritance. This estate made money for years. What happened?” But L. Londell McMillan, the current lawyer for Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz, blamed Ms. Douglass for prolonging the estate dispute and delaying a publishing deal. Mr. McMillan said she “has poisoned the well and attempted to prevent the matter from closing and Malikah from communicating and cooperating.” It is nothing new for siblings to bicker over their parents’ estate or any number of other issues. But the Shabazz family has been faced with unusual challenges. Some of the daughters witnessed their father’s assassination in the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights more than four decades ago. Then came the death of their mother at age 61 after the fire, set by Dr. Shabazz’s grandson Malcolm, who was 12 at the time. Heartache and tension within the family followed. “My recollection is that there were a lot of problems in this family, to put it mildly,” said Frank W. Streng, a lawyer who represented Malikah Shabazz in 2002.

Sprinkled throughout letters and e-mails filed in Surrogate’s Court are references by the sisters’ lawyers to the siblings’ tense relationship. The first public indication of problems with the estate began in 2002, after a collection of Malcolm X items turned up at Butterfields, the San Francisco auction house. Malikah Shabazz was accused of taking some of her father’s unpublished writings — including letters, speeches and journals — to Florida without permission. She allegedly placed the items in storage but allowed her bill to go unpaid, and her father’s work wound up at auction. The estate had to pay more than $300,000 to get the items back, Joseph Fleming, the former lawyer for Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz, wrote in a court petition in 2004. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem paid more than $400,000 in 2003 to borrow the collection for 75 years, and the center is currently the only place where the works can be viewed. In a petition attached to the accounting, Mr. Fleming questioned Malikah Shabazz’s mental capacity and blamed her for losing potential licensing deals. That petition eventually led to the appointment in 2007 of Ms. Douglass as Ms. Shabazz’s guardian ad litem, someone who represents a person’s interests in court but may not make decisions on the person’s behalf. Two years later, Ms. Douglass issued a 30-page report accusing Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz of misappropriating assets, citing examples like the women’s advancing shares of their inheritance to their sisters and prepaying themselves commissions even when their lawyers advised against it. The estate’s tax bill, meanwhile, more than doubled over the years because of penalties and interest. At more than $2 million, the bill is now greater than the tangible value of the estate, according to an accounting filed last year by Mr. McMillan. Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz are not guilty of anything “other than, perhaps, giving the lawyers and accountants too much authority,” Mr. McMillan said, “under circumstances when their pain and suffering was at an all-time high.” Despite their past disagreements over what to do with the estate, all the sisters other than Malikah Shabazz are now on the same page, Mr. McMillan added.

Mr. McMillan did not make Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz available for comment. Malikah Shabazz could not be reached for comment, but in a letter to the judge last year, she wrote that she had been subject to “overly dramatic bullying” to compel her to agree to a settlement, suggesting that “every bit of everything has been taken from my daughter and I.” But, she added, she did not “plan to at any time participate in any so-called settlements, or negotiations.” One example of how difficult negotiations have become was the inability of the administrators, Ilyasah and Malaak Shabazz, to produce an uncontested accounting of the estate’s assets. After Malikah Shabazz requested an accounting nearly a decade ago, it took two years and a contempt order from Judge Anthony A. Scarpino Jr. of Surrogate’s Court to get the administrators to produce one, which has since been revised at least four times. Ms. Douglass said that because the administrators did not perform an inventory of Dr. Shabazz’s belongings shortly after her death, it would be impossible to determine if anything had gone missing since then. While many items were destroyed in the fire that killed Dr. Shabazz, Mr. McMillan said, the property in her estate had been inventoried. He suggested that there was material that would provide new glimpses into Dr. Shabazz’s life, but would not confirm if that included a manuscript of an autobiography that Dr. Shabazz had told a friend, Leroy Wilson Jr., a trusts and estates lawyer, she was working on. The overall inventory will be included in a final accounting in the coming months, as will proof of every transaction over the life of the estate, Mr. McMillan said. The lawyer said he hoped that would be enough to persuade opponents to close out the estate and to move forward with publishing deals. “We’ll be able to have these very important works curated and presented to the public worldwide,” Mr. McMillan said, “with the dignity and integrity that Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz deserve.”

More on Corrupt Surrogate Judge Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. and his pals:

Corrupt Westchester Judge Scarpino OK with Convicted Felon as Trust Fiduciary



23 comments:

victim of Nicolai said...

You want to hear a real joke: Former Associate Judge of the 2nd Department Appellate Division Sondra M. Miller works with Frank Streng at McCarthy Fingar in White Plains, New York. Pay to play, that's what Tony Scarpino says.

God's friend said...

This is great! More corruption from this bastard Scarpino. Pretty amazing. Don't know the Steng lawyer. There's a special place in hell for judges like this. I hope Scarpino is still smoking cigs; God will take care of the rest.

banker said...

Tony, don't listen to these people.
Go for the bucks, my friend. Like you always have.
Get that money in your pocket.
If you don't, Frank Nicolai might!

TC said...

Wow! They sure have some people fooled, but as they say "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

Anonymous said...

Tony, the feds don't care that you used to disgrace the FBI by working there for 10 minutes before you sold your soul. The feds are coming after you and your Westchester ring of criminals.

i know mobsers when I see them said...

I hope the Westhester Surrogate Court clerk Charlie Scotts gets arrested along with Scarpino. He's as dirty as they come. Why doesn't Nicolai do something about Scarpino? Answer: because they are both crooks: Anthony Scarpino and Francis Nicolai

Themis unblinded said...

The surrogate judge looks out for the interests of the heirs is the myth in NY. The reality is the surrogate judge is the managing partner-"vulture in chief" in the lawyers/judge-"vultures" cabal. The cabal functions to insure that every body/estate is picked clean and only the dry bones remain for the survivors' family. The family members should issue 1099's to each of the vultures for the missing tax money which was eaten by these vultures. It is very likely they didn't report this income.

Anonymous said...

news flash - Charlie Scott is no longer the Chief Clerk of the Westchester Surrogates Court! He got his and yours! Be advised that Charlie Scott has left the building!

WP atty said...

Frank Streng is a pimp for the whore Tony Scarpino. It's all about the MONEY baby and don't let anyone tell you different.

Anonymous said...

These two mutts (Streng and Scarpino) don't belong in the news, but behind bars.

oca empl said...

Charlie Scott moved to a Manhattan firm. Accetta is the new Surrogate Court Chief Clerk. Accetta is 3 times the size of Scott (he eats desks for breakfast), only 1/3 as smart or slick as Scott, and Accetta has had his big fat head up Tony's ars for years.

Anonymous said...

Rumor going around that Westchester County Judge Tolbert got the boot today. Too many funny games with family court cases. Anyone know anything?

Anonymous said...

Nicolai is no longer the administrative judge supervising Scarpino.

That would be Scheinkman who has been the Administrative Judge for the 9th Judicial District for a number of years now.

Scheinkman is trying to cover-up some of the misconduct that goes on there, but has failed to do anything with the biggest criminals. And in at least one case has taken a 70 year old attorney from a corrupt/connected law firm that does matrimonial and made him a court attorney hearing matrimonial cases.

Anonymous said...

The buzz has been that Tony Scarpino is of interest to the DOJ for awhile, but no action. By the way it has also been said that they knew he was dirty when he worked at the FBI and they just watched him. LOL

Anonymous said...

who the heck has this guy scarpino NOT been paying off. wow, this thug of a judge is bad news, and belong behind bars.

Anonymous said...

Frank Streng has the politics covered by way of both the Dems and Reps. Streng acted as the chief fund raiser for Anthony Scarpino and at one point had same on his website and traded on this fact. It was good business for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Judge Scarpino is under the light on the Brooke Astor Estate. He and his pals were rubbing their hands together seeing all the money that they would control. The only problem was that some people with alot more juice took the candy away from Scarpino and he has told people that he's not happy about it but there's nothing he can do about it. Scarpino the people you were screwing with have already started to screw with you and this is only the beginning. So enjoy

Suroggate Victim said...

I have read how Surrogate Court attorney Jody Keltz acquired a house from an estate in this same court. How come this is the only place that has these facts. Why isn't Jody Keltz under federal investigation. Why don't the feds do the right thing. Jody would spill her guts.

Anonymous said...

Jody and her husband Carl have protection from Tony and therefore they protect him it's that simple

Anonymous said...

Judge Scarpino would have a heart attack if he ever met Malcolm X and he and Frank Streng would be wise to not fool with the brothrs and sisters.

A proud Jew said...

I was a good friend of the woman known as the "Cancer Victim" and know first hand how Judge Scarpino/Kevin Murphy vindictively withheld funds that she needed for cancer treatment. She has died which is what they wanted and now her blood is on the heads of these bastards and their families. They should all drop dead!!!

Anonymous said...

Frank Streng , does what he feels like when he feels like, suckers his clients to believing in their best interest then robs their family blind. He makes lots of errors files things late forgets and tries to charge for phone calls to correct errors he makes etc. Plus he drags out estates so to rack up fees. Love the way he waits till last day to file at night and then emails k-1 forms . Thought they must go out be received by march 15.. but then the law seems to apply to everyone but him.. pray you are not related, then he really does the screw. So hoping that someday soon he is held to the law. He gives lawyers a bad name. Irs, ethic' s etc please look into his cases.

Anonymous said...

When the day comes frank streng, is finally held to the same law as everyother lawyer, person the United states. Warning , be very careful dealing with him. He prays on the innocent and thrives and helping questionable activities etc go on. The parties that have be affected by his poor handling and questionable practices with only be at peace rest when he is no longer to affect hurt mmishandle cases. He is slim, he joins groups political parties and makes donations to payoff try to get favors for his misdeeds. Really hope that the law is the law and he is treated and Belgium accounted for all his misdeeds .

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