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Thursday, November 20, 2008

NY Court Clerk Arrested On Filing Fraud

New York's Courts: another reason to be proud- Filing Fraud by Court Clerk
3 stories follow:

The New York Post by IKIMULISA LIVINGSTON, JOE MOLLICA and KATE SHEEHY - November 19, 2008

The well-connected brother of a popular Brooklyn judge - employed as the No. 2 in the borough's Civil Court Clerk's Office - helped steal an elderly widow's home out from under her, authorities said yesterday. Brooklyn Chief Deputy County Clerk John D'Emic, 59, represented the husband of the unsuspecting, 74-year-old woman at the closing on the $490,500 sale of the couple's home last year in Jamaica, Queens, officials said. The problem is, the husband, Eugene Thomas, had been dead since 1986 - and his widow, Dorothy, never put the Union Hall Street house up for sale in the first place. "They tried to take advantage of her because they thought she was alone . . . She never sold the house," her nephew, Robert Mitchell, told The Post last night. "She's a nervous wreck. She's asthmatic, she's diabetic, she's got heart trouble," Mitchell said of the aunt who helped raise him. "She's afraid to answer the door because people come knocking saying they own the house and threatening her." 

Adding insult to injury, one of the people who set up the ailing widow was her own neighbor, Shamim Choudhury, 35, who posed as her dead husband at the closing, authorities said. D'Emic and Choudhury's alleged seven other cohorts - six of whom were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court yesterday - include Norman Barabash, a onetime suspected leader of an Asian prostitution ring. Barabash, a 63-year-old CPA from Bellerose, LI, is accused of preparing false tax statements for the straw buyer in Thomas' case to land the mortgage. Prosecutors said he has admitted to the scheme. D'Emic was in private practice when he allegedly participated in the $1.4 million, phony mortgage scheme that allegedly also bilked two other victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by using fake IDs and posing as homebuyers. The brother of respected Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew D'Emic and former counsel to state Sen. Martin Goldman (R-Brooklyn) began his job with the courts in October 2007. ikimulisa.livingston@ny


Court clerk indicted in mortgage scam
The New York Daily News bY WIL CRUZ AND WILLIAM SHERMAN  - November 19, 2008

An accused sex tour operator and a high-ranking Brooklyn court official were among nine people indicted Tuesday in a $1.4 million mortgage fraud scheme that featured stolen identities and an elaborate series of masquerades. In the scheme, con artists using fake IDs to conceal their participation bought and sold two Queens properties and one in Brooklyn and then took out the mortgages, authorities said. The three deals were done over an eight-day span last year, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The victims included a Jamaica woman who owned her home outright and now faces foreclosure; and a New Jersey woman, whose identity was stolen and is now fighting off banks over mortgages fraudulently taken out in her name, said Brown.John D'Emic, chief deputy county clerk for Kings County, allegedly was the paid attorney for the fraudulent buyers and sellers in the transactions and prepared false letters instructing how the mortgage proceeds should be distributed. D'Emic, who was in private practice at the time, was appointed to the $96,910-a-year court clerk's job in January. D'Emic, 59, was suspended from his job without pay. He did not return calls. The suspected sex tour operator, Norman Barabash, also a certified public accountant, is charged with claiming he had prepared five years' worth of tax returns for one of the buyers and preparing false letters for the mortgage applications. Barabash, 63, of Bellerose, L.I., is also under indictment for using a Queens travel agency to book sleazy sex tours to Southeast Asia.


Was Solo Practitioner in Brooklyn When He Allegedly Falsified Documents

The New York Law Journal by Mark Fass - November 20, 2008

The chief deputy county clerk for Brooklyn Supreme Court has been charged with facilitating a $1.4 million mortgage scam in which the conspirators allegedly used fake identification to sell houses they did not own. According to Queens prosecutors, John D'Emic represented either a fake buyer or a fake seller in each of three fraudulent transactions, receiving $1,800 in each case. Mr. D'Emic also allegedly prepared false letters regarding the disbursement of mortgage funds and illegally shared fees with a second, disbarred attorney. Mr. D'Emic, who was appointed chief deputy in January and earns $96,900 annually, was arraigned on Tuesday. He faces up to four years in prison. He was immediately suspended without pay by the Office of Court Administration. According to the Queen's District Attorney's Office, the investigation that led to the arrest of Mr. D'Emic and eight others began in November 2007, when 74-year-old Dorothy Thomas came to the office's Elder Fraud Unit to report that her home had been sold without her knowledge. Ms. Thomas learned of the sale after receiving mail and foreclosure notices addressed to "Tolessi Enyonam," the property's new purported owner. As laid out in the indictment, the defendants used fake I.D.s both to secure mortgages and pose as buyers in order to sell the three Jamaica-area homes to each other and split the proceeds. Mr. D'Emic, a Brooklyn-based solo practitioner at the time of the crimes, allegedly helped close the sales and falsify documents.

Mr. D'Emic was charged with 11 counts of falsifying business records and one charge of prohibited sharing of compensation by attorneys. Reached by phone yesterday, Mr. D'Emic's attorney, Samuel Gregory, said his client did not know that the underlying sales were fraudulent. Mr. D'Emic ranks among the crimes' victims, along with the banks, the homes' actual owners and two people whose identities were used to obtain the mortgages, Mr. Samuel said. "Knowledge and intent to defraud are necessary elements in all of the substantive counts with which Mr. D'Emic is charged," Mr. Gregory said. His client, he added, had neither. "Jack D'Emic has been practicing law for somewhere around 30 years," Mr. Gregory said. "He's got a reputation for honesty and truthfulness that goes back to the first day he began to practice." As chief deputy county clerk, Mr. D'Emic oversaw jury management, which included supervising personnel in the Division of Jurors and participated in the division's day-to-day management. Although county clerkships are administrative positions that do not require legal backgrounds, many clerks - including Mr. D'Emic and two of the four sitting chief clerks - have law degrees. Mr. D'Emic's eight co-defendants include Alan Morris, a former attorney who was disbarred in 1992 and served three years for grand larceny and possession of stolen property.

According to the present indictment, Mr. Morris worked for the Babylon law firm John Weber & Associates, and served as the bank's attorney on each mortgage, notwithstanding his disbarment. He also allegedly handled all the closings and prepared and submitted false documents, among other charges. Mr. Morris' attorney, Anthony Battisti of Queens, declined to comment. Mr. Weber declined to comment, other than to say that Mr. Morris worked in a secretarial or law-clerk capacity. A second co-defendant is Norman Barabash, a Long Island man already under indictment for allegedly running a "sex tourism" travel agency, Big Apple Tours, which was twice charged by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer with promoting prostitution by leading tours to Asian brothels. Mr. D'Emic is one of 10 siblings in a prominent Bay Ridge family. His brother Matthew D'Emic is an acting Supreme Court justice in Brooklyn's Criminal Part, overseeing both the mental health and domestic violence parts.


Anonymous said...

Well, it seems to me that the fraudulent filings by this attorney while in practice made him perfectly qualified for a position in any New York State Court Clerk's office. In NY, it's not a matter of what's right or wrong- it's a matter of just creating whatever paperwork is needed to accomplish the desired result. And if that paperwork is fraudulent, well, that's just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

you have no idea how huge the quantity of fraudulent filings is.......

Anonymous said...

I was involved in a lengthy litigation with Jack D'Emic. I find it hard to believe that he knowingly would engage in this conduct. It could have been sloppy work, but not anything deliberate.

Anonymous said...

I have one where my attorney signed and notarized my signature...

What a tangled web..

Anonymous said...

I also know Jack and would be surprised to learn that the allegations are true. They will find out who actually committed this fraud, and my feeling is that Jack was set up and that he will be cleared.

Anonymous said...

I had a defense atty sign his clients order of protection, with his own name, issued to protect me, in a criminal case.

Since I was a criminal court clerk, I knew that was not legal and requested of this corrupt upstate court to send me a corrected one. The deputy chief clerk, hack, did not know the law and balked, so I was forced to call the city atty. What I received was an abomination and something my town law enforcement would reject as a tampered document.

This corrupt city court sent me the original...copied...but with multiple crossouts everywhere, including the signature of the atty, replaced by the deft.

The correct approach would be to re-print the order with the original date and have the deft sign that clean organized, legal copy.

If I had been a regular citizen, who was in desperate need of a clean order of protection, I would have found myself begging law enforcement to honor the crap one I had.

These political hacks that OCA hires and their tolerance of judges that remain ignorant of the law for all the many years they are elected, are the reasons citizens suffer everything from theft to death!

This case above is not shocking to me as a court clerk once employed by OCA...the horror of justice for those..unaware!

It is impossible for the citizens to comprehend the defective material they are given and subjected to by the courts. I am solicited to help, by many people that know where I worked and they are truly grateful...wish I could have helped out here!

Anonymous said...

there was plenty of funny things going on in the West. Co. Clerk's Office when Andy Spano & Lenny Spano (not related) were running things. More than likely it still goes on ... these gangsters will not give up a revenue source willingly.

Anonymous said...

There is plenty of fraud going on in the Orange County Clerk's Office.

Anonymous said...

about 20 years ago an atty in White Plains was recording fraudulent mortgages in the County Clerk's Office, it took quite sometime to figure out but he finally got caught. No one ever figured this guy and no one locally wanted to touch the mess.

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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:
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