Westchester Attorney Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud For Attempting To Embezzle From A Decedent’s Estate For Which He Was Court-Appointed Administrator
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that GUY PARISI, a Westchester attorney, pled guilty today to a mail fraud charge arising from his attempt to embezzle funds from a decedent’s estate for which he served as a court-appointed administrator. PARISI entered the plea in White Plains federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith.
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As he admitted today, Guy Parisi, a Westchester attorney, flouted his fiduciary duty to the estate for which he was administrator. He attempted to direct fees from the estate to a company he himself formed with a relative. Now Parisi awaits sentencing for his crime.”
According to the allegations contained in the Indictment:
PARISI was appointed administrator of the estate of a former resident of Mt. Vernon, in or about 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 decedent’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.
In or about June 2017, PARISI, on behalf of the estate, retained Stokes Asset Recovery Services (“Stokes”) 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.
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PARISI, 71, of Rye, New York, pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as the sentence will be determined by the court.
PARISI is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas on May 29, 2019.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Postal Inspection Service and the New York State Comptroller.
This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorney James McMahon is in charge of the prosecution.