Saturday, June 11, 2016

After Spending 30 Days In Jail Under Civil Order For Failing To Provide Accounting For Money Held In Estate Account, Attorney Gets Thrown Back In Jail, This Time Indicted For Alleged Theft Of Over $500K He Earlier Failed To Account For

In Brooklyn, New York, the New York Daily News reports:
  • A Queens lawyer who spent 30 days in jail under a civil order for digging into the estate of the late Judge John Phillips was thrown back behind bars [] after Brooklyn prosecutors indicted him for the same crime.

    When the legendary Bedford-Stuyvesant Slave Theater and an adjacent lot sold at auction for $2.2 million in 2012, the executor of the estate Samuel Boykin and Frank Racano were to report to a surrogates court judge where the money would go.

    After several unanswered requests, the judge removed Boykin as the executor and held them both in contempt of court.

    In March, the Daily News reported, Racano was brought into Brooklyn Civil Supreme Court by city sheriffs where he admitted to selfishly writing over 300 checks to himself from the estate’s escrow account to pay bills.

    The money disappeared, the account whittled down to $100 last year May,” said Assistant District Attorney Frank Dutis in court.

    Racano stole $587,160.56, prosecutors said. The judge sentenced Racano to 30 days in jail and gave him a $1,000 fine.

    With Racano’s admission in civil court, prosecutors indicted him for one-count of second-degree grand larceny. “We will now hold him accountable for these shameful criminal acts,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson.

    Racano’s attorney Sam Karliner entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. If convicted, Racano faces up to 15 years in prison.

    Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun set bail at $250,000 cash or bond and ordered a bail sufficiency hearing.

    Phillips, who was known as the “Kung Fu Judge” for his martial arts skills, suffered from Alzheimer's and died in the troubled Prospect Park Residence in 2008 when they failed to give him a diabetic diet and a room with heat. He was 83.
Source: Queens lawyer who spent 30 days in jail for raiding late judge's estate thrown back behind bars.

For the Brooklyn District Attorney press release, see Attorney Indicted for Stealing Almost $600,000 From the Estate of Deceased New York City Civil Court Judge (Stolen Funds Include Proceeds from Sale of Historic Slave Theater in Bedford-Stuyvesant).

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