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Thursday, December 29, 2011

9th Judicial District Attorney Accused of Stealing From Client, Filing False Documents

New City attorney accused of stealing from client
The Journal News by Steve Lieberman  -  December 28, 2011

NEW CITY, NY — An attorney for three Ramapo villages already suspended from practicing law on professional misconduct charges has been accused separately of stealing $70,000 from two clients in a medical malpractice case, the Rockland district attorney announced today.  Joel A. Grossbarth denied the four felony charges through his lawyer. Grossbarth has been released on $25,000 bail by Clarkstown Justice Rolf Thorsen, pending a hearing on March 5 or potential grand jury action.  The charges resulted from his private practice, not his employment with the villages of Airmont, New Hempstead and Sloatsburg. Grossbarth took a leave of absence from representing the municipalities after his suspension in November involving a different set of allegations by the state organization that oversees the conduct of attorneys.  The criminal charges brought by the District Attorney’s Office are second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument. The top charges carry a maximum of 15 years in state prison.  District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said in a news release that between July 16, 2010, and July 27, 2010, Grossbarth stole $70,000 from a couple in a malpractice case.  The couple received a check in the mail for $70,000 and told Grossbarth that they did not wish to settle for less than $350,000, Zugibe said. Grossbarth is accused of telling the couple he would return the check to the opposing party, but instead deposited the money into his own account.  Grossbarth also is accused of falsely filing a hold harmless agreement and general release with the Rockland County Clerk, settling the case without knowledge or authority of the victims.  Zugibe said his investigators have received complaints from other clients of Grossbarth, whose arrest resulted from an investigation by the Rockland County Special Investigations Unit.  Grossbarth’s lawyer, John Edwards, said the New City attorney would plead not guilty to the four charges.  Grossbarth, 50, of 29 Linden Court, was suspended last month from practicing law by a state Supreme Court justice pending a hearing into professional misconduct charge brought by the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District. The committee acted on a complaint filed by Rudolph Gregus and his wife, who had hired Grossbarth in 2005.  People who believe they have been similarly victimized can the Rockland District Attorney’s Office at 845-638-5001.


Anonymous said...

Looks like Tony's at it again:

Why let a little thing like jurisdiction get in the way of handling a multi-million dollar estate?

The man being sued for allegedly murdering his Upper West Side wife surreptitiously took control of the $1.6 million life-insurance-policy payout she’d left behind for their two kids, The Post has learned.
Rod Covlin, 39, filed papers in Westchester County Surrogate’s Court in April seeking to be named guardian of the cashed-in Aetna policy that Shele Danishefsky Covlin, a money manager, had left for Anna and Myles.

Covlin filed the petition to be named guardian in Westchester even though Shele’s estate case is being heard in Manhattan and the kids already have a law guardian acting on their behalf there

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Jonathan Lippman leave in the 9th JD. Boy, he's protecting his close friends very nicely, throwing a few lawyers into the fire periodically to make it look good.

Anonymous said...

Who's the Administrative Judge there?

Nice work.

Considering the number of incidents that are making news, one can only guess at what is actually going on there.

Court Insider said...

This is the tip of the Iceberg and the system is in trouble. This "Officer of the Court" and others have stolen money that did not belong to them. The truth is this matter was covered up for some time until they couldn't control it any longer. And follow the money and see where the kickbacks go, what Judges have benefited.

Anonymous said...

Tony Scarpino is backed by the mob and his former employer (FBI) knows the facts, good luck getting to him, its all fixed as they say!

Anonymous said...

Now this is interesting:

In today's newspaper, the fact that Tony gave the guy complete access to the wife's money gets exposed, Tthen, apparently within hours, everything changes.

"A Westchester judge yanked Roderick Covlin’s access to a $1.6 million life insurance payout on his slain wife Thursday after learning he is the prime suspect in her unsolved 2009 murder."

Yet, in that same article, it states:

"Bookstaver contacted the judge on vacation after Covlin was sued for wrongful death Wednesday."

Maybe someone can explain how Tony can hold a court proceeding while he is somewhere on vacation? Aren't there legal procedural requirements that have to be followed?

Unbelievable what goes on.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

How rare, a dishonest lawyer in Rockland County is punished. A good first step. Next indict all the judges and half the Rockland attorneys as the next step. Or to paraphrase Teddy Roosevelt, in 9 out of 10 cases the lawyer is a crook and in the tenth case don't ask too many questions.

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