A prominent Westchester attorney who has represented several Republican politicians was indicted by a federal grand jury in White Plains on Tuesday for fraud and false statement charges arising from his attempt to embezzle from an estate of a deceased man.
Rye resident Guy Parisi, 71, was charged with one count of conspiracy (which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison); one count of mail fraud (which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison); and one count of making a false statement (which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison).
“Instead of protecting the interests of the estate, Mr. Parisi abused the trust placed in him by allegedly attempting to pocket millions of dollars meant for the beneficiaries by using a fictitious company," Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. "Thanks to my ongoing partnerships with U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman and the United States Postal Inspection Service, he will now be held accountable for his actions."
According to the indictment:
- Parisi was court-appointed as the administrator of the estate of a former resident of Mount Vernon around April 2017. His duties as administrator included collecting the assets of the estate.
- As an administrator, Parisi had a fiduciary duty to the estate and to the deceased man's son, the sole beneficiary of his father’s will. New York law provided for a fee for estate administrators like Parisi based on a percentage of the value of the estate’s assets.
- A substantial part of the estate’s assets escheated to the State of New York as abandoned property between 2000 and 2008, when the estate was first presented to the Surrogate’s Court. These assets were held in the custody of the New York State Comptroller.
- Around June 2017, Parisi, on behalf of the estate, retained Stokes Asset Recovery Services as the estate’s abandoned property location service in exchange for a fee of 15 percent of the value of the estate’s assets held by the comptroller, which is the maximum fee allowed by New York law.
- Parisi did not disclose, and actively concealed, that Stokes was owned by his relative, and that he and the relative had formed Stokes less than two weeks before he notified the Comptroller of his retention of Stokes, as he was required to do under New York law.
- Parisi and the relative named Stokes after a Southampton, New York, street on which Parisi owned a waterfront vacation home. At the time he retained Stokes, Parisi knew that the estate’s assets held by the Comptroller were worth several million dollars.
- Parisi was interviewed by a postal inspector in or about November 2017. He falsely told the postal inspector that he had worked with Stokes in the past and that Stokes’s fee was five percent of the value of the assets held by the comptroller.
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