Thursday, May 05, 2005

Judge Gerald Garson fixed Jewish divorces in Brooklyn, now his cousin Judge Michael Garson is to be indicted for stealing elderly relatives fortune


At 5:54 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

See my earlier posts at:


B'klyn judge to be indicted

Another Brooklyn judge will be indicted next week, this one for allegedly looting his elderly aunt's fortune, the Daily News has learned.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes intends to file a grand larceny charge against Supreme Court Justice Michael Garson - six months after a grand jury voted to indict the jurist, according to a source familiar with the case.

The panel was ready to nail Garson in November, but Hynes put the indictment on hold after the judge offered to aid Hynes' probe of judicial corruption, sources said.

But with the indictment imminent, it's unclear if Garson came up with any useful evidence.

"They're going to file the indictment next week," said one knowledgeable source, who added that the judicial corruption probe continues. Hynes' office declined to comment.

Garson lawyer Ron Aiello said he didn't know about criminal charges.

For more than a year, Hynes probed charges that Garson altered a power of attorney agreement that his aunt Sarah Gershenoff, 91, signed in 1997.

The move allowed him and his cousin, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson, to allegedly plow through almost $600,000 of her money. Michael Garson told the grand jury that his aunt asked him to deplete her assets for estate planning.

Gerald Garson has not been charged in the alleged fraud, but is under indictment for taking bribes to fix divorce cases.
Originally published on May 4, 2005


Judicial watchdog must wake up

The state Commission on Judicial Conduct has a chance to redeem itself from the sin of allowing to remain on the bench two judges guilty of serious ethical breaches. A third judge, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Garson, is now in its sights, and the panel needs to strip the robes from this jurist for his remarkably relaxed approach to handling money that's not his.
More specifically, the commission should end Garson's judicial career over the unaccountable disappearance of $163,000 that belonged to an elderly, incapacitated aunt over whose affairs he held power of attorney. No one knows what Garson did with all the dough. Lacking receipts, an appellate court last week refused to credit his story of spending it on restaurant meals for the woman in her 90s. Lots of restaurant meals, presumably.

Whatever happened to the cash, the Appellate Division ruled that Garson failed to fulfill his fiduciary obligation to keep track of his aunt's nest egg and quite rightly ordered him to repay her. The decision was a long time coming - Garson's malfeasance was exposed two years ago - and served as a reminder that he has maintained his position without sanction for just as long.

The commission has been well aware of Garson's shenanigans and, last spring, it forwarded evidence of potential criminal wrongdoing to Brooklyn District Attorney Joe Hynes, who had empaneled a grand jury months earlier. Then, as is traditional, the commission sat back to wait for the DA to act. And wait and wait. Hynes, for reasons unknown, hasn't acted. And Garson continues to preside over cases.

His presence in a courtroom is a scandal. As were the commission's recent decisions to allow Manhattan Justice Diane Lebedeff and Westchester Family Court Judge Nilda Morales Horowitz to stay on the bench. Lebedeff had sat in judgment on a close pal's trial. Horowitz had tried to influence two cases on behalf of friends. Both warranted dismissal, but the commission merely censured them.

Now, Garson deserves to be dispatched quickly. It's unfortunate that Albany lawmakers haven't granted the judicial conduct commission the power to suspend him immediately, pending proceedings aimed at removing him from office. So instead Garson will continue to dispense justice and cast the entire judiciary into disrepute.


Appeals Court says Brooklyn judge owes $163,000 to guardian for 91-year-old aunt

April 21, 2005, 8:06 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) _ A Brooklyn judge must pay $163,000 to his 91-year-old aunt's guardian because he cannot prove he spent the money for her benefit, a state appeals court in Manhattan ruled Thursday.

The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division's 5-0 ruling affirmed a lower court order by Justice Walter Tolub that Justice Michael Garson had to give the money to Robert Kruger on behalf of Sarah Gershenoff, with interest dating from Oct. 13, 2000.

"Garson breached fiduciary duties to his elderly and incapacitated aunt by failing to keep appropriate records of his withdrawals from her accounts to finance gifts and expend cash allegedly on her behalf," the appellate judges said in a terse two-page ruling.

The appellate court said Garson, who had his aunt's power of attorney, failed to show that his "undocumented withdrawals" from her accounts, supposedly to pay her living expenses and buy gifts, were legitimate.

Garson had asked the court to reverse Tolub's ruling or at least to credit him with expenses he said reduced his liability to $75,000.

During a December 2003 hearing before Tolub, Garson testified that he and a cousin, indicted and suspended Supreme Court Justice Gerald Garson, helped their aunt plan gifts to relatives so her money, about $650,000, would not go to the state or a nursing home.

He testified he didn't always get receipts or other records while spending his aunt's money _ at her direction _ because he "never dreamed" he'd need to.

"I did not regard this as a fiduciary relationship," he said then. "I regarded this as a family relationship."

His lawyer, Barry Elision, did not return calls for comment Thursday.

Garson's cousin pleaded not guilty to receiving a bribe and official misconduct in a scheme to fix divorce cases. He was accused of taking cash, meals and gifts, including a box of cigars, from another lawyer who had cases before him. His attorney said the evidence against him showed only that he was taken out to lunch.


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