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Judge Garson Indicted For Bilking $ From Elderly Aunt

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So much for judges swearing that they will uphold the law. Yet another Brooklyn judge was indicted by Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes’ office Thursday – a judge that, ironically, is related to another jurist who is already part of the D.A.’s robed rogues gallery. Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Garson turned himself in to authorities May 12 after being indicted for looting more than $160,000 from his elderly aunt, Sarah Gershenoff. Garson had already made headlines in this case when other family members sued him civilly, said officials, who took up the case after he was ordered to pay back the money he allegedly took from his elderly relative. Garson is the cousin of Justice Gerald Garson, who is poised to go to trial on bribery charges in the next few months. Garson has been accused of fixing divorce cases before his bench for vacations, pricey cigars and other gifts, according to officials. Prosecutors said that information leading to the indictment of Michael Garson came out of the investigation into his cousin. Michael Garson has been charged with second-degree grand larceny, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison. According to the indictment, Garson, who claimed that he had power of attorney over his elderly aunt, bilked the woman of over $163,000. In his defense, Garson claimed that the money he allegedly took from his aunt was to reimburse him for “regular payments” he gave her, which included a $1,000 weekly allowance. He also claimed that he made sure his aunt had $70 a day for food and $5,000 a year for clothes. Prosecutors contend that Garson does not have any receipts to back up any of his claims. Prosecutors also call into question Garson’s power of attorney over his aunt’s finances. During a Manhattan Supreme Court civil proceeding, an independent evaluator alleged that the document granting him the power of attorney may have been forged or bogus. In 1997, Michael Garson, Gerald Garson and Gerald’s wife Robin Garson took control of Gershenoff’s assets. While Robin Garson took care of the elderly woman’s medical needs, Michael Garson assumed control of her finances. In 2000, Gershenoff met with a lawyer, claiming that she believed that her nephew was stealing money from her. Prosecutors said that Gerald Garson has not been implicated in this crime. No new charges will added to his current case.

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