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CrimeLawyer Guy Parisi seeks no prison time in federal estate fraud case

18:40  28 may  2019
18:40  28 may  2019 Source:   lohud.com

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Guy Parisi wants no prison time for trying to bilk a multi-million dollar estate out of more than 0,000. But federal prosecutors want him in His lawyer cited Guy Parisi 's clean record, fragile health, reputation for integrity and his acceptance of responsibility in asking for home confinement and

Septuagenarian lawyer Guy Parisi was sentenced to six months in federal prison Wednesday for a Parisi sentenced in federal court. As more than 40 of his relatives, friends and colleagues looked on That effort to remove Bayard dragged on for more than seven years and during that time Bayard

Lawyer Guy Parisi seeks no prison time in federal estate fraud case© Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

Guy Parisi, a noted Westchester lawyer for decades, wants no prison time when he is sentenced this week for trying to get hundreds of thousands of dollars more than he was entitled from the multi-million dollar estate of a Mount Vernon man.

His lawyer cited Guy Parisi's clean record, fragile health, reputation for integrity and his acceptance of responsibility in asking for home confinement and community service at his sentencing Wednesday in federal court in White Plains.

"Guy has already been punished and publicly shamed," Jim Walden wrote in a sentencing memorandum to U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas. "He will lose his law license and his beloved vocation and his good name is in tatters.

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But federal prosecutors believe that Parisi belongs in prison. They have asked Karas to follow sentencing guidelines that call for a prison term of between 33 and 41 months.

Lawyer Guy Parisi seeks no prison time in federal estate fraud case© File photo Guy Parisi, left, at the Westchester County Board of Elections in White Plains in 2010.

"Put simply, the defendant created a low show job for his relative to embezzle money from the estate," Assistant U.S. Attorney James McMahon wrote to Karas. "Had the government not stopped the crime before it had run its course, the defendant would have stolen approximately $900,000 from the estate."

Parisi, 72, of Rye, pleaded guilty in January to mail fraud. He admitted trying to use a phony company set up by his wife to recover for a client millions of dollars in unclaimed funds held by the state Comptroller’s Office. Either the client, Alfred Mallard Jr., or Parisi could have recovered the money without using any firm.

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Lawyer Guy Parisi pleaded guilty to trying to get hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Mount Vernon man's estate by using a fake firm. A prominent Westchester lawyer pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday for a scheme in which he tried to bilk the estate of a Mount Vernon man out of

The company, which the couple named Stokes Asset Recovery Service after the Southampton, New York, street where they own a home, would have been entitled to a 15 percent collection fee while Parisi’s commission as administrator of the estate would have only been a third to a fifth of that.

The two sides dispute how much the 15 percent would have amounted to, with Parisi's lawyer suggesting $550,000 and prosecutors citing the $900,000 figure.

Those numbers are based on how much Parisi thought the comptroller held. The FBI thought that figure was $6 million based on an interview they conducted with him in November 2017. But Parisi insists that figure was what he told them the comptroller once held, but the figure at the time was really $3.6 million.

'A man of integrity'

Parisi became involved in the estate of Alfred Mallard Sr. in late 2008 when the dead man’s son hired him in his effort to remove the previous administrator of the estate, Gregory Bayard. It took years for that process to be completed and in the interim Bayard ended up bilking the estate of $1.4 million. He has pleaded guilty. His sentencing was scheduled for Tuesday but has been adjourned until July.

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Civil fraud does not carry the possibility of jail time or fines; criminal fraud can result in both. Both the federal government and the individual states have numerous laws that criminalize Depending on the circumstances of the case , fraudulent activity can be either a state crime or a federal crime, or both.

The value of Mallard's estate - consisting entirely of an extensive stock portfolio, was not known until years after his death in 2000 at the age of 94. In 2008 it was estimated to be worth about $8.5 million but McMahon said its value had increased to about $17 million by early last year.

Walden submitted 46 letters from people attesting to Parisi's good character. Those included letters from his wife and other relatives; former state Supreme Court Justice Francis Nicolai; former Westchester County Legislators Timothy Carey and David Gelfarb; Westchester Republican Chairman Douglas Colety; and Evelyn Stock, who headed the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee that Parisi served on for more than 20 years.

“I have found him to be a man of integrity, one who has a deep commitment to our community and good government, and I am proud to know him,” Stock wrote to Karas.

Those who worked with him professionally said the criminal conduct was an aberration. But McMahon countered that it was commonplace for white-collar defendants to muster many glowing letters. He questioned whether the writers knew the details of Parisi's scheme.

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McMahon cited not only the scheme but Parisi's lies about it when the FBI interviewed him. Parisi claimed he had worked with Stokes before and that the firm was only going to get a 5 percent collection fee.

"His law license was not an entitlement that should generate consolation if it is lost," McMahon wrote. "The defendant is likely to lose the privilege of practicing law not as a punishment but because he has shown through his conduct that he can no longer be trusted to do so."

The go-to lawyer

Parisi, the son of a state senator, was immersed in Brooklyn politics as a child. He was active in the Republican party for years and became the go-to lawyer in Westchester for election matters. He was counsel to the Westchester County legislature for 17 years and has represented the Westchester Republican party since 1978. He also ran unsuccessfully for Congress 25 years ago and for six years starting in the late 1970s served as a commissioner on the New York City Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Walden argued that Parisi has led a law-abiding life and, while he intended to steal from the estate, he never actually took anything.

McMahon called Parisi's scheme "elaborate", citing the effort it took to set up the phony company. But Walden suggested Parisi’s efforts were rather amateurish, considering that it didn’t take much time for the state Comptroller’s Office to recognize the scheme and report it to law enforcement

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Lawyer Guy Parisi seeks no prison time in federal estate fraud case© File photo Attorney Guy Parisi, left, and other attorneys discuss an affidavit ballot offered for inspection by a Westchester County Board of Elections employee in White Plains in 2010. Counting in a disputed state Senate race were to continue through the weekend.

“None of this is intended to excuse the conduct,” Walden wrote. “But this experienced Court has seen many craven and experienced cons: this was hardly one.”

Karas is not bound by the sentencing guidelines but must consider them. The probation department recommended a 2-year term for Parisi.

GUILTY: Guy Parisi admits scheme to bilk estate

ACCUSED: Guy Parisi, politically connected Westchester lawyer, indicted on federal fraud charges

Twitter: @jonbandler

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Lawyer Guy Parisi seeks no prison time in federal estate fraud case

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