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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Carvel Files Complaint Against Brooke Astor Judge Scarpino....(CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

In a complaint filed August 28, 2007 with New York State Chief Administrative Judge Ann T. Pfau, the niece of beloved Ice Cream magnate Tom Carvel says Westchester County Surrogate Court Judge Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., appears to be actively involved in the long-standing pattern of criminal activity against Thomas and Agnes Carvel, their estates and their charities. The "incestuous influence," says Pamela Carvel, includes the recently discovered findings that Judge Scarpino had serious conflicts involving his own personal bank "loans" worth $300,000.00-- "loans" from the sole adverse litigant to Carvel family members, the bank that wrestled control of all the Carvel millions.

Included in the complaint is her discovery on May 8, 2007, that, she says, shows attorney William E. Griffin fraudulently transferred a Carvel estate located in Ardsley, New York worth $10 million to the company of Griffin's law partner's brother for just 2 million. William Griffin-- the alleged president of the Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation, and Chairman and major stock controller of the Hudson Valley Bank—is currently the subject of an investigation by the office of New York's Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The complaint to Chief Administrative Judge Pfau is 115 pages, and we have only posted certain pages on this forum. Other information—on page 2—has been redacted but will, according to sources, be made public soon. (If any reader desires the full 115 page complaint, which includes the exhibits, send an email request to, and we will send a full copy via pdf format.)

See portions of the "Scarpino Complaint to Judge Pfau" to the right…..more to come on this story…..

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Patentgate Ethics Scam Hits Holocaust Survivor...(CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

As a young girl, Mrs. Gizella Weisshaus survived the Holocaust, but recently and now 77-years-old, she finds herself on the growing list of victims ensnarled in the Manhattan attorney ethics scandal shaking the New York State Court system....


In July of 2007, it became publicly known that many ethics complaints against attorneys in the Bronx and Manhattan were methodically mishandled-- effectively buried or stalled—due to politically-based connections, favors or back-room deals. The "Patentgate" matter quickly highlighted the need in New York for federal intervention since the alleged theft of dozens of U.S. patents by the inventor's own New York lawyers-- the once respected and politically connected Proskauer Rose law firm-- went largely and substantively unaddressed. The Patentgate ethics complaints were obscured in New York at the very same time the identical issues found The United States Department of Justice widening their own investigation and, additionally, where members of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary committees called for further probes. The ongoing ethics shake-up resulted in the quickly announced "retirement" of Manhattan's top State ethics Chief Counsel, Thomas J. Cahill, Esq., and whose replacement is expected to be announced soon. (See the related August 24, 2007 story below: "Justice Department Widens "Patentgate" Probe Buried by Ethics Chief Thomas J. Cahill")

Holocaust Survivor meets New York “Ethics”

Mrs. Gizella Weisshaus was the named plaintiff in the 1996 filed historic lawsuit against Swiss banks that, after being designated as a class action proceeding, was settled in 1998 on behalf of thousands of Holocaust survivors for $1.25 billion.

Gizella, however, opted out of that settlement because, she says, certain involved attorneys were more interested in paying themselves millions of dollars even before some of the survivors had received any money. She would also learn, she says, that someone "manufactured" a necessary amended complaint in 2000 by backdating that court document to 1997. And she would also find that in an unrelated estate proceeding where she was the executrix, her own lawyer, Edward D. Fagan, had failed to deposit more than $82,000.00 into an attorney escrow account choosing, instead, to use the money for his own various personal expenses. (Mr. Fagan also represented Mrs. Weisshaus in the subsequent filing against the Swiss banks and from where he ultimately received millions of dollars in legal fees)

The Devil's Advocate

An attorney ethics complaint followed, and in a letter dated May 6, 1998, attorney disciplinary Chief Counsel Thomas J. Cahill's predecessor, Hal R. Lieberman, Esq., wrote to Gizella to advise that since her complaint against attorney Edward Fagan had involved an "ongoing criminal proceeding" his office would await the outcome of that proceeding before concluding their disciplinary investigation. Then-Chief Counsel Lieberman also advised Gizella that his New York State ethic's office had requested a written answer to the complaint from attorney Fagan. Edward Fagan then hired his own lawyer.

Letter to Self

Approximately 9 weeks later, in a July 15, 1998 dated formal answer to the charges against him, attorney Fagan's lawyer submitted a 6-page denial of the various charges made by Mrs. Weisshaus. Astonishingly, attorney Fagan's lawyer, who he had recently engaged, was none other than Hal R. Lieberman who, in a 9-week period of time, had left his position as Chief Counsel of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department Disciplinary Committee to join the law firm Beldock Levin & Hoffman, LLP.

So, essentially, on July 15, 1998 private attorney Hal Lieberman was responding to himself-- to his own May 6, 1998 letter wherein he, as the New York state-employed Ethics Chief Counsel had advised Gizella of the request for a written answer from the attorney she had filed a complaint against, and the same person who was to be Lieberman's client-- Edward Fagan.

More on Mrs. Weisshaus, attorney Edward Fagan's arrest, the pending ethics inquiries in New Jersey against Fagan, and Chief Counsel Thomas J. Cahill's determination of no conflict of interest by the prior chief counsel, Hal Lieberman.... MORE.... LATER THIS WEEK..........

To the right, see the documents marked "Weisshaus Fagan Lieberman"

1. May 6, 1998 dated letter from NY State Attorney Disciplinary Committee Chief Counsel Hal R. Lieberman to Mrs. Gizella Weisshaus RE: Edward Fagan (1 page)

2. July 15, 1998 dated Answer to Complaint from private attorney Hal R. Lieberman to Mrs. Gizella Weisshaus RE: Edward Fagan (6 pages)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Justice Department Widens "Patentgate" Probe Buried by Ethics Chief Thomas J. Cahill...CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

In a letter dated July 16, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility, announced from its Washington, D.C. headquarters that it was expanding its investigation into a bizarrely stalled FBI investigation that involves an almost surreal story of the theft of nearly 30 U.S. Patents, and other intellectual property, worth billions of dollars. The probe reaches some of New York's most prominent politicians and judges, and has already proven to be a stunning embarrassment to the State's ethics watchdog committees. (To the right, see the July 16, 2007 letter "D.O.J. Widens Patentgate Probe")...

Coming Soon: Iviewit's Patentgate –
Part II - Naming the Patentgate Players (New York's Top Politicians and Judges)
Part III – Why a Once-Top Law Firm Thought They'd Get Away with It ($$)
Part IV – The Groundbreaking Iviewit Technology & Patentgate Fraud Proof

Part I

The Fox and the Hen House

It was only recently exposed in July that the underlying "Patentgate" inquiries were effectively buried, or derailed, under the leadership of Manhattan's top State ethics Chief Counsel, Thomas J. Cahill, Esq. Mr. Cahill's "retirement" was then quickly announced after his own ethical failings in the Patentgate matter, along with other ethics complaints that were made, became known.

While no one can exactly figure out how inquiries under Mr. Cahill's charge went so awry, one thing is certain. At the same time the Patentgate probes were being secreted by state officials in New York, the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent bar increased their own investigation into the same matter implicating the same attorneys. (Note: Mr. Cahill's replacement was recently decided, and an announcement is expected as early as next week by the Appellate Division, First Department Presiding Justice, Jonathan Lippman.)


The defrauded company is called "Iviewit" – pronounced, "I-view-it." The company's internet site originally advertised their groundbreaking technology. Now, the opening page of the company website ( displays unsettling photographs of the inventor's family vehicle after it was bombed.

"This is quite serious," says an investigator close to the federal probe. "The charges allege that valuable 'back-bone enabling digital imaging technology'-- MPEG type intellectual property-- was stolen by the inventor's own attorneys, the once-untouchable Manhattan based law firm Proskauer Rose. This is going to get very ugly," he says.

Members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House Judiciary Committees have known about the Iviewit investigation since about September of 2006, and it is in our nation's capital where the matter quickly earned its moniker "Patentgate." And the story was also globally known in technical, Intellectual Property circles. But the big question remains: how did such an explosive story like Patentgate stay off every mainstream media's radar screen—especially in New York.

"I know how," says a retired federal agent who asked not to be identified. "Phone calls were made—many phone calls. Plain and simple." And while this retired federal agent isn't surprised by the apparent "cover-up," he is alarmed by his own findings after a month-long independent review of all submitted Iviewit papers. "I can't find one discrepancy in the allegations, not one unsubstantiated charge," he says. "For one, you have the highest state courts in New York white-washing this thing with 'unpublished' rulings. And then you have state ethics committees contradicting themselves-- in writing, no less. It's a complete meltdown," he concludes. "The broken system appears to have finally fallen apart."

"Iviewit was been radio-active from day one," says one prosecutor who asked not to be named. "Considering who was involved, you know the phones were ringing off the hook, and with a simple directive: 'don't go near it' (an inquiry)." He believes, however that a serious shake-up is imminent. "The powers that be can't contain this story anymore—it's out, U.S. Senators and Congressman are talking about it. This involves national Commerce issues: attorneys stealing U.S. Patents from their own client, and the illegal failings of a state's ethics agency by its own cover-up, and selective, self-dealing, politically-based inaction. Patentgate appears to have exposed the true, and troubling, underbelly of ethics investigations in New York State. And its not pretty."

Additional Background Information

The original complaint involving Thomas Cahill and the Proskauer Rose law firm has been "pending" since February of 2003. The Cahill Proskauer Complaint is a high priority for the new State Chief Administrative Judge, the Honorable Ann T. Pfau.

The Cahill Proskauer issue became a hot topic in Washington, D.C. in early 2007 at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Department of Commerce (The United States Patent and Trademark Office). And it has specifically caught the attention of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, and U.S. House Representatives John D. Dingell and Nita Lowey.

The Cahill Proskauer Scandal involves many allegations: the alleged theft by Proskauer of numerous U.S. Patents from their own client; claimed losses over 10 years on a trillion dollar technology pool that has affected all forms of digital imaging and video; and the March, 2005 bombing in Boynton Beach, Florida of the inventor-client-complainant's family mini-van.

It is alleged that Mr. Cahill masterminded the scheme to indefinitely delay complaints against Proskauer Rose, himself, and former New York State Bar Association President and Proskauer partner Steven C. Krane, Proskauer Partner Kenneth Rubenstein, chief counsel for MPEGLA, and attorney Raymond Joao of Yonkers. It is also alleged that attorney Steven C. Krane initially interceded, with Mr. Cahill's knowledge and consent, in handling disciplinary complaints involving himself at the same time he was associated with the 1st Department in Manhattan.

Attorney Krane's conflicts were exposed when officials from the Iviewit company contacted Katherine O'Hagan Wolfe, who contradicted Cahill's statements and Krane's written denial of his 1st Dept roles. Ms. O'Hagan Wolfe advised that she was, in fact, on a Committee at the 1st Dept with both Cahill and Krane, and that they even had a meeting that same night.

The various Cahill Proskauer issues bounced around under the public radar screen at the Court of Appeals in Albany and were ultimately transferred from the 1st Department to the 2nd Department in Brooklyn. This was done after 5 justices of the 1st Dept ruled unanimously to investigate Krane, Rubenstein and Joao for conflict of interest and the appearance of impropriety after their review of the 1st Department complaint.

The Cahill inquiry is apparently "still pending" under attorney Martin R. Gold who, insiders say, was directed to "sit on it…forever."

Earlier this year, FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. assigned additional agents to the Public Integrity Corruption squad at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan, and where agents have been actively conducting interviews.

Coming Soon: Iviewit's Patentgate – Part II

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Spitzer Dad Threat— A Sloppy Set-Up, and Out-Dated CIA Trick... CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL STORY

"A sloppy set-up, and an amateur-- and bungled-- attempt to implement an old CIA tool," says a former federal operative in explaining allegations against Republican consultant Roger Stone, which say he threatened Governor Spitzer's father by leaving a recorded message on an answering machine. "This type of set-up mostly went out with the rotary telephone," he says, laughing. "Is anyone that dumb to leave such a threatening message on an answering machine? Eliot doesn't believe it." ...

The Phantom Phone Call

The operative, and who would only allow himself to be publicly referred to as "Mr. Blue," says the nickname "his people" had for this type of set-up was "the phantom phone call." Mr. Blue says that like most people set-up this way, Roger Stone wouldn't have seen it coming. "Stone didn't know what hit him, and he'll be numb for a while. Then he'll go a little crazy"

Like any good phone call, preparation is important, says Mr. Blue. "You first collect various tape recordings of your "target's" voice—in this case Roger Stone's. "Then you piece together the various recordings into a 'statement' or 'threat' so that it will appear to have been verbalized by your target—and you insert loud background noise, if needed."

"In Roger Stone's case, he's been yapping to anyone who would listen to him about the Spitzers, so he's a very easy target to quickly collect a large quantity of recordings from which to use—overheard in a restaurant, in an 'interview' with a writer-- the possibilities are endless with a babbler like Stone."

The Phantom Phone Caller Then Creates Confirming Proof

"Now you have to make it look good— so you just create the evidence,"says Blue. "You make it look like your target actually placed the phone call from a phone line that would normally be associated with the target, like his home or office. Then from your target's phone line, you telephone the person who is to get the message or threat, and you play the 'previously-pieced-together-recording' over the phone."

Mr. Blue says that in the U.S., most operatives don't want to break into offices and homes, especially since people might be there and considering the advancements of monitoring and security systems. "Oh, and it's against the law," he finally adds. So, pretending to be a telephone repairman, they can easily gain access to an office or apartment building's "telephone room" through which every telephone line must pass. "Clip into the specific phone line you need with your 'telephone lineman's phone' and then place your 'phantom' phone call. It's that simple."

In Stone's case, Blue "speculates," they waited until he went out and then proceeded with their plan. Once, Blue says, he gained access to a Manhattan building by heading off, and replacing himself for, a food delivery person. "I grabbed the kid outside the building and told him that I'd been waiting for him. I paid for the food, and tipped him ten bucks. After the doorman helped me get the food to the real recipient's apartment by confirming their expected delivery and letting me up, I was free in the building to do my thing on another floor in a hallway 'service closet'." Blue was annoyed, however, because his own tip was just half ($5) of what he had given the real delivery person out on the sidewalk.

Sleep Tight...

And to make every homeowner sleep easier at night, Mr. Blue says access to telephone lines in the suburbs is even easier. "At midnight, clip into the phone line, which usually runs down the exterior wall of most houses; or simply climb the telephone pole down the block during the day…"

More and More Proof

And to make it look really good, Blue says non-chalantly, just get the cops or district attorney's office to confirm with the telephone company what you already know-- that the threatening call was made from your target's telephone line. "And the icing on the cake—or in Stone's case, another nail—is to bring in a well-known investigator to confirm the findings." Blue says he laughed when he heard that Kroll Associates was brought in to "confirm the obvious." "It was arranged for them (Kroll) to find what had been left for them to find and, of course, to pass that confirmation along to the authorities."

Conspiracy Theories

"And at some point Roger Stone will question his own sanity," laughs Blue. "Stone will confirm that it's his voice on the tape; 'yes' the phone company says the call was placed from his telephone number; 'yes' he may have been home that day. But one question Stone won't be able to answer is: 'if not by you, how else and by who did this happen?' And once Stone wakes up and fully realizes that he was set-up, he'll shout 'conspiracy!' And that's exactly what they want him to say, so he'll really, really look guilty."

The good 'ole Days

Mr. Blue says that the real truth will come out, or simple fade away, once voice spectrographs (voice finger-print-type technology) and other tests are conducted on the actually answering machine recording. "The evidence will show that a 'cut and piece' job was done on Stone, and that it was "the phantom" who was calling, not him. It only 'sounded' like Roger Stone. But the damage has already been done, and by the time Roger Stone is fully vindicated, no one will really care— but the mission accomplished." Mr. Blue says that nowadays the "phantom" call only works with 'harassing' type calls—hang-ups, heavy-breathing or direct, non-recorded messages. "Advancements in audio forensics technology has changed that aspect of the game," he says. And it's the use of the now-outdated (by spectrograph technology) "phantom recording by Roger Stone" that leads Mr. Blue to conclude that the person behind this latest troopergate headline is an "old-timer" who "worked for the federal government in the 1970's."

Mr. Blue believes that the "phantom call" was more of a "message for people to shut up." "What bothers me most is that they dragged a really nice guy—Bernie Spitzer—into this mess. That was unnecessary. But they succeeded in sending the message that if certain people don't zip their mouth, things are going to get really ugly in the troopergate debacle."

Mr. Blue describes himself as "fully retired," not saying exactly from what, and also as someone who once enjoyed climbing.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Brooke Astor Judge Knew Lawyer Pal Was Publicizing Coziness... CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

Brooke Astor Judge Knew Lawyer Pal Was Publicizing Coziness on Internet and Law Firm Website

It would take more than 5 years after Judge Anthony Scarpino took the Surrogate Court bench before finally addressing his lawyer-friend's internet advertising of his law firm's implied favoritism with the court. "I suggest you speak to a 15-year old. They tend to know how to do that," said Judge Scarpino. (August 3, 2005 Westchester Surrogate's Court transcript, page 32, lines 17-19) (See transcript to the right: "Scarpino & Streng on Internet")...

It was recently reported on this forum that the Manhattan based legal powerhouse Paul Weiss had engaged the small White Plains, New York firm McCarthy Fingar to handle proceedings in the Estate of Brooke Astor in the Westchester County Surrogate's Court.

The lone Westchester Surrogate, Anthony A. Scarpino,Jr., does not, however, explain why it took so long--nearly five years--for him to address the issue of any lawyer advertising over the internet, or on their law firm website, the implied inside connections with the Scarpino court that would further suggest favored treatment by the court.

But it is now revealed in an August 3, 2005 transcript that Judge Scarpino knew about the advertising. The Surrogate confirms that he had prior knowledge of the advertising,
"Mr. Streng, I feel that this Web site to the general public and…has caused difficulty for the Court, and this is not the first time I've heard it, and I'm glad to hear that you have taken steps to remove it from your Web site, and I'm requesting that you take whatever steps you can to try to have it removed from other Web sites whatever else is out there if you can do that." (Transcript page 31, line 25 thru page 32, lines 1-12)

The August 3, 2005 transcript makes clear that Surrogate Scarpino acknowledged that he knew his personal and political friend had been advertising their close association on his law firm website and on the internet. And in one of the advertising sections, it mentions that attorney Frank Streng was on Judge Scarpino's election transition committee from "2001-present", suggesting that the inside connection to the court was an on-going event.

And though he mentions it, Judge Scarpino failed to correct, or take any other required action, concerning the fact that financial sanctions had been twice granted by him (the judge) to the advertising friend of the court, Mr. Streng and his firm McCarthy Fingar-- financial sanctions simultaneously with the "closeness to the court" advertising.

Such advertisements, which strongly imply favoritism and partiality by any court, are strongly frowned upon by the Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Attorney Disciplinary Committees.

Most observers, though, are alarmed that it took Judge Scarpino over 5 years from his being elected Surrogate in 2000 to even address the troubling issue with his close associate Frank Streng who was, at all times relevant, the person at the McCarthy Fingar law firm in charge of the content on the firm website.

Attorney Frank W. Streng and the law firm McCarthy Fingar continue to regularly appear before Westchester County Surrogate Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., and have done so, quite successfully, at all times since the Surrogate election in 2000.

End Note: In that same estate, attorney Frank Streng and McCarthy Fingar have been accused of filing a fraudulent "assignment" designed to prevent any claim to recover approximately $100,000.00 stolen from the Red Cross in 9/11 donation monies. Surrogate Scarpino denied any of the relief sought against Mr. Streng and McCarthy Fingar, without prejudice. But in the same "without prejudice" order, Surrogate Scarpino, sua sponte ("on his own") ordered a prohibition of any motions- thus, barring anyone from filing any motions.

Oddly, McCarthy Fingar advised all parties in November of 2003 that they had filed the "assignment" papers, but only in July of 2007 was the newly-installed Surrogate's Chief Court Clerk, Charles T. Scott, Esq., able to correct the three and one-half year "administrative oversight." And, according to Chief Clerk Scott, when his office finally filed and entered the 2003 dated "assignment" documents in July 2007, they backdated the entry date to show November of 2003.

(See transcript to the right: "Scarpino & Streng on Internet")

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A$tor E$tate to Judge'$ Crony... CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

Brooke Astor isn't even buried yet but, according to informed sources, the prestigious Manhattan law firm, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, has pulled in a small White Plains law firm, McCarthy Fingar, for proceedings in the Westchester County Surrogate's Court before the Hon. Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr.

No wonder....

It took more than four years after his being elected in 2000 as Westchester County's lone Surrogate Judge before the McCarthy Fingar law firm would remove from their firm website and the internet their advertising the fact that a partner in the firm, Frank W. Streng, "serves on the Transition Committee of Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., Surrogate of Westchester County (March, 2001 – present)" (Note: McCarthy Fingar was formerly McCarthy Fingar Donovan Drazen Smith)

A Pattern of Odd Estate Proceedings

In one estate that questioned the McCarthy Fingar advertising and its appearance of impropriety, Surrogate Scarpino denied the application to disqualify the law firm and attorney Frank Streng. In that same estate, and while McCarthy Fingar was simultaneously advertising their implied special relationship with the Judge before whom they appeared, the Surrogate twice granted financial sanctions in favor of McCarthy Fingar. In an associated proceeding at the Brooklyn Appellate Division, Second Department, relief against McCarthy Fingar was denied by then-Associate Appellate Justice Sondra M. Miller, and who is now employed as a lawyer at McCarthy Fingar. (The Estate of Margaret A. McKeown)

Digging Up More Than Tom Carvel's Body

Recently, in a proceeding involving one of the Carvel Ice Cream estates, Surrogate Scarpino refused to disqualify himself in rulings regarding attorney Frank Streng and McCarthy Fingar, even after he had finally recused himself in the McKeown estate for similiar reasons. And as recently reported in the weekly newspaper The Westchester Guardian, Surrogate Scarpino denied an application to disqualify himself despite the presentation of undisputed documents showing that hundred of thousands of dollars in loans were made to Judge Scarpino by Hudson Valley Bank, whose chairman purports to be the president of the Thomas & Agnes Carvel Foundation. (See Carvel Story to the right)

Oh, by the way...

Court records show that Justice Scarpino just last year held a five month trial in the Harry Winston Trust matter that involved Banker's Trust Company as fiduciary. Apparently, Judge Scarpino inquired at the onset of the trial if anyone had a problem with him sitting as the judge since he had been employed by Banker's Trust Company. Sources reveal that his decision at the close of the trial was totally in favor of his former employer. Legal sources indicate that judges are required to reveal any possible conflict at the first opportunity, which would have been over 4 years earlier, well before the trial, and after his taking judicial office in January of 2001.

Years of Advertising Close Ties to the Judge

It appears that McCarthy Fingar finally, in about mid-2005, removed from their firm website and the internet their advertising of their implied favored association with Surrogate Scarpino. But before the removal of the advertising, notarized proof was secured from a California company called Internet Archive, which provides access to a digital library of internet sites. Their service, called Wayback Machine, makes it possible to access more than 40 billion pages stored in the Internet Archive's web archive, and with focus on past date-specific information. (See: - It's a great internet tool, one which no longer carries anyreference to McCarthy Fingar)

The April 21, 2005 dated sworn affidavit of Molly Bragg, office manager of Internet Archive, is posted to the right. Pages 15 & 17 show the advertisement that a McCarthy Fingar partner, "serves on the Transition Committee of Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr., Surrogate of Westchester County (March, 2001 – present)" (See "Judicial Advertising" to the right)

Judge: No Money for the Cancer Patient

The small McCarthy Fingar law firm may also be familiar to readers of the June 14, 2007 article on the cancer patient who was denied funds for her care by the Bank of New York and Surrogate Scarpino. That article is reprinted here. (As of August 16, 2007, there were 218 comments !!- to see the comments, click on the June 14, 2007 story, half-way down the page below.

From Thursday, June 14, 2007

Judge Denies Cancer Patient Monies From Mother's 17-Year-Old Estate

Adrienne Marsh Lefkowitz found out she had cancer last May. And most people know that stress is not good for cancer patients. But perhaps someone needs to tell that to Westchester County Surrogate Judge Anthony A. Scarpino and The Bank of New York who together tried to crush the Bank's cancer-victim opponent.

Lefkowitz, a retired New York State attorney is only too familiar with stress as a way of life, a horror involving her mother's Westchester County estate that has been going on since Irene Marsh's death 17 years ago. Westchester County Surrogate Court records indicate that Irene Marsh's other distributees timely received their monies years ago. However, Ms. Lefkowitz and her daughter did not. (Incidentally, Ms. Lefkowitz's father's 19-year-old New York County estate is also still pending.)

For many years Ms. Lefkowitz's estate distributions were often seized in secret by the estate executor, the Bank of New York. The Bank even refused to release her monies (almost $200,000.) after she made a special request related to her cancer diagnosis. And that medical request also didn't matter much to Westchester County Surrogate Anthony A. Scarpino who not only denied the emergency medical request but failed to even mention the medical need in his decision. (Matter of Irene B. Marsh, New York Law Journal, October 20, 2006, page 28)

Though Lefkowitz provided evidence from her doctor concerning the cancer diagnosis, and her own affidavit seeking an "expedited resolution" to her request for the release of the undistributed funds withheld from her for years, the judge denied her request in a September 28, 2006 ruling. One attorney who reviewed the public file said, "It's quite clear that Ms. Lefkowitz presented evidence to the court concerning her cancer diagnosis, and her urgent need for special care and treatment. I can't understand or explain why the request was denied, and without the court even commenting on her need for monies for immediate cancer treatment."

A review of the filed documents reveal that while rejecting the original grounds asserted by the bank-executor for withholding Lefkowitz's distributions, the judge refused to release the funds to Lefkowitz because of the bank's new argument of anticipated future litigation expenses, and a potential estate insolvency. The Bank of New York concealed from the court that it has refused to pay any more legal bills since January 2004.

"But only Lefkowitz, of the 5 beneficiaries was, in effect, being required to "post a bond" for future estate legal expenses," says another legal expert after a review of the file. "The denial of monies to a cancer patient is reprehensible on its own, but given the bank's admission to criminal activity, the Bank of New York is hardly a suitable fiduciary in any estate." He added, "Under New York State Probate Laws, Article 7 of the SCPA, "dishonesty" is grounds for removal of The Bank of New York as it cuts directly to their ineligibility as a fiduciary. This estate should have been finalized years ago, and the denial of money for a cancer patient by the judge and the fiduciary are shocking- beyond words." (See The Bank of New York non-prosecution agreement with the FBI on this forum, to the right)

Instead, the court has left The Bank of New York in place as the fiduciary of Lefkowitz's mother's estate, with the clear message that Lefkowitz would get no money for cancer treatment or care, or anything else, because of her plans to finally hold the bank accountable for its failings over the past 17 years, which include their dereliction in securing the Marsh family furnishings, art and jewelry. Lefkowitz is also opposing the huge attorney bills to the estate from McCarthy Fingar LLP. (The reader may recognize the McCarthy Fingar law firm from other stories on this forum, including the Thomas and Agnes Carvel estates) (click "JUDGE TO CANCER PATIENT..." icon on right to view the Court Decision and Lefkowitz's Affidavit).

The FBI has been investigating why over $300,000 of Lefkowitz's daughter's trust funds had been wrongfully retained in trust by the Bank of New York over 2 years after the termination date as set forth in the Marsh wills. The FBI probe follows the 2005 non-prosecution agreement where the Bank of New York agreed not to commit any more crimes, as reported in The New York Times on November 9, 2005. The bank's non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Attorneys' Eastern and Southern Districts of New York involved criminal activities which implicated the bank's corporate counsel's office and high-level Bank of New York executives.

Ms. Lefkowitz repeatedly declined to comment on this story.

(This forum will carry other examples of abuse of the cancer patient by The Bank of New York)

Posted by Corrupt Courts Administrator at 6:07 PM

As of August 16, 2007, there were 218 comments - to see them click on the June 14, 2007 story below

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

NY Post: Appeals Court Blasted Judge Jacqueline Silberman ...CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

The New York Post reports that top NYC Matrimonial Judge Silbermann was blasted "for giving the husband everything without the wife knowing she was being sued for divorce." Everything, including the child and the house....

The husband is reported to be politically active and a former president of a Manhattan Democratic Club.

The Appellate Division ruling comes after troubling allegations were made, in May of 2007, concerning backroom deals and certain improper workings within two of New York State's Court Judicial District administrative offices— Westchester and New York counties, where the district administrators are Judge Nicholai and Judge Silbermann, respectively.

The Westchester Guardian newspaper had reported that a criminal investigation had been called for involving alleged improper actions by Westchester County Surrogate Judge Anthony A. Scarpino and New York City Administrative Judge Jacqueline W. Silbermann.

On August 13, 2007, The New York Law Journal reported that 9th Judicial District Administrative Judge Francis Nicolai, and who is only an elected County Court judge overseeing the District's higher level Supreme Court justices, would be running for one of the two open Supreme Court slots in the upcoming election. Not surprising, insiders say, County Judge Nicolai has been seeking a cross-endorsement in that election.

The complete August 12, 2007 New York Post article follows below, and the actual decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, is posted to the right as "Silbermann - Gass v Gass"

New York Post



August 12, 2007 -- She lost her son, her home and her job - but a Manhattan woman has fought and finally won an appeal to overturn the uncontested divorce that gave her politically connected husband everything.

After a three-year battle, Susan Gass, 50, won a ruling last month in which the appeals court blasted deputy chief matrimonial judge Jacqueline Silbermann for giving the husband everything without the wife even knowing she was being sued for divorce. Gass, who was repeatedly told she couldn't fight the 2004 divorce, claims politics drove the judges' rulings. Her husband, Thomas Gass, is the former president of the Village Reform Democratic Club in Manhattan.

In its decision, the appeals court said Silbermann "abused her discretion" when she ignored Gass' repeated attempts to fight the divorce, which awarded child custody and the house to her husband. "There was a complete lack of due diligence on the part of all the judges," Gass told The Post.

Susan Gass said her husband filed for an "uncontested divorce" without ever serving her; he has claimed he did. Thomas Gass would not comment on the ruling. Susan Gass refused to give up, even after Silbermann granted the terms of the divorce in 2005.

"I couldn't go to my grave letting them do this to me and get away with it," she said. Now, she plans to head back to court and divorce her husband again.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Letter to Sen. Hillary Clinton Re: NY Court Corruption...CLICK HERE FOR LETTER

On August 1, 2007, we received the following "Open Letter" addressed to U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) concerning the statewide court corruption crisis in New York:

An Open Letter to Senator Hillary Clinton:

Your key supporters are women. Your key supporters in New York State have been women.

Yet, you have done nothing to help the victims of the New York probate and family courts—those victims are largely women.

We have no one to turn to, The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mr. Garcia, is a former clerk to Chief Judge Kaye.

In fact, the investigation into judicial corruption that had gone on prior to Mr. Garcia's arrival, as reported in the New York Post, terminated after he arrived. As to New York County District Attorney Morgenthau, he has kept his hands off judicial corruption.

You, as a United States Senator from New York, can ask the U.S. Senate to open hearings into this travesty of justice, and/or ask the Department of Justice to appoint an independent prosecutor to handle judicial corruption in the Southern District of New York.

To continue to do nothing would indicate that you do not merit the support of the women voters.

From a woman voter


Administrator's Note: this Open Letter was sent via facsimile to Sen. Clinton's various Senatorial and Presidential campaign offices:

518-431-0128 (Albany/Hudson Valley)
585-263-6247 (Rochester Region)
716-854-9731 (Buffalo/Western New York)
845-613-0110 (Rockland and Putnam Counties)
631-249-2847 (Long Island)
315-448-0476 (Syracuse/Central New York)
212-688-7444 (New York City)
914-472-5073 (Westchester County)
315-376-6118 (North Country)
202-228-0282 (Washington, D.C.)
703-962-8600 (Presidential Committee-Arlington, VA)
415-255-7431 (Presidential Committee-San Francisco, CA)
213-908-0190 (Presidential Committee-Los Angeles, CA)
515-280-1825 (Presidential Committee-Des Moines, IA)
603-634-4450 (Presidential Committee-Manchester, NH)
212-213-3041 (Presidential Committee-New York, NY)
803-343-3233 (Presidential Committee-Columbia, SC)
202-263-0181 (Presidential Committee-Washington, DC)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

All In The Family: Nepotism in the New York Courts...CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL NEPOTISM SUBMISSIONS

Here are some Comments we have received regarding Nepotism: .....

--While some know that Lippman's wife Amy is an OCA employee most don't know that Lippman's childhood best buddy is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver........

--OCA chief of employee relations, Lauren DeSole is the "niece" of her predecessor, Andrea Lurie.

--DeSole's boyfriend, former Supreme Court officers assoc. VP John Agnetti, was …appointed to an administrative job with OCA a few years ago after losing a union election.

--Nassau County chief court officer, Jim DiNapoli is the brother of State comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

--Staten Island Family Court chief clerk William Quirk is the brother of Dennis "King of the Courts" Quirk. Dennis Quirk's daughter also has a … job in NYC family court.

--9th JD court officer boss Bob Kane married into the family of court of appeals justice Joseph Bellacossa.

--Captain Alvin Benson of the 9th JD is the nephew of a Supreme Court judge in NYC.

--9th JD boss in waiting, Danny …Leddy is the little brother of former chief court officer Tom Leddy.

--Court officer Major Jeanette Jordan is married to OCA attorney Mark Jordan.

--Bronx court officer boss J.Mark Bodde is the nephew of former Supreme Court judge Tom Galligan.

--Galligan has two other nephews named Kelly who have … jobs in the Appellate Division.

--NYC Family Court boss Tim Shanahan is the nephew of judge Keating, who is retired and in charge of the state judicial institute.

--OCA deputy inspector general Greg Salerno is the son of Bronx judge George Salerno.

--IG investigator Bob Piazza is the son in law of former NYC criminal court chief clerk Arthur Reilly.

--…don't know who Bronx Supreme Court chief clerk Steve Clark is related to…?

--…Lippman's wife… also receiving a state paycheck… in 2000, the Association of Justices criticized Jonathan Lippman for trying to curtail political patronage in court system. Lippman wanted state judges to approve the hiring of lawyers, real estate managers and other professionals by receivers to help ensure that receivers' hiring practices are based on merit, not on political favoritism or NEPOTISM-- yet, that's what Lippman proposed... Think there's a DOUBLE STANDARD here?!?

---Question?….…Answer: Queens Civil Court Judge Anna Culley's husband, Kevin Culley, is a staff attorney at the Departmental Disciplinary Committee at 61 Broadway.

--legal question for all you lawyers out there …Is it nepotism if you get a job for your home's cleaning women's husband? I won't mention that the "boss" is a state employee who works at the appellate division 1st Dept. Can anyone say: "out of control?"

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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