Sunday, April 17, 2016

Issues Of Alleged Lawyer Pilfering Continue To Haunt Estate Of Deceased Brooklyn Judge; Heirs' Questions Concerning Unaccounted For Cash Remain Unanswered

In Brooklyn, New York the New York Post reports:
  • A Queens lawyer accused of looting the estate of a Brooklyn judge is being probed by a grand jury over seven counts of grand larceny that accuse him of pocketing more than $700,000 in inheritance, The Post has learned.

    Attorney Frank Racano — currently serving a 30 day contempt-of-court sentence for not accounting for funds taken from the estate of the late Judge John Phillips — admitted to a Brooklyn surrogate’s court judge in March that he’d written checks to himself from the deceased jurist’s escrow account.

    Phillips was known as the “Kung Fu Judge” because of his black belt and habit of breaking out martial arts moves during court proceedings.

    The Brooklyn DA’s office is “moving forward with an indictment on the criminal charges,” Phillips’ nephew, the Rev. Samuel Boykin, said [].

    “My family and I are alleging that he has ripped the estate off for 713,000,” Boykin said of Racano, who he had hired to help handle the estate.

    A law enforcement source confirmed Racano was “under investigation.”

    The disgruntled nephew also recently filed a $160 million notice of claim against the city, saying he was improperly removed as executor of Phillips’ estate in January 2015 and “illegally” replaced with public administrator Charles Fiori.

    Fiori then went on to settle the family’s $40M wrongful death suit against Prospect Park Residence — where the judge froze to death in 2008 — for just $750G, without consulting any of them, Boykin said.

    None of the seven heirs have any idea what happened to the $750,000. We have no idea where it is,” Boykin told The Post. “Many of my family members believe he stole the money. Fiori has been over the estate since January 2015, and not only do we not know where the money is, but we have no idea what he’s doing with it.

    These people have taken that money, pretended it was theirs, and disappeared,” a frustrated Boykin continued, referring to both Racano and Fiori.

    “All seven heirs are highly upset, and wondering how the courts could let these people get away with this,” he added. “My uncle served as a civil court judge for 17 years, and the system he served so diligently has really let him down.”

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