The New York Times
n.y. / region
Ex-Judge Is Sentenced
After Sting by F.B.I.
By COREY KILGANNON,
nytimes.com on the Web, November 18, 2007
A former judge from Long Island was
sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison for conspiring to launder almost
$400,000 in proceeds from stolen jewelry.
The ex-judge, David A. Gross, 45, of Nassau County District Court, had pleaded
guilty in July to money laundering, and was sentenced in Federal District Court
in Central Islip.
Prosecutors said that while the judge was running for re-election in January
2005, a member of the Genovese crime family introduced him to a wealthy
businessman. The judge did not know that the “businessman” was an
undercover F.B.I. agent.
As part of a sting operation, the agent told the judge about diamonds and
watches he had stolen, and the judge agreed to fence them, according to the
charges. He said he could use his legal knowledge to avoid detection, and
offered to launder cash through his campaign funds.
Prosecutors said that Judge Gross agreed to sell more than $250,000 worth of
jewelry provided by the agent, and to help launder approximately $130,000 in
cash, keeping a percentage.
Mr. Gross’s lawyer, John F. Carman, said that when the judge met the “wealthy
businessman,” he hoped to court him for campaign donations, and agreed to silly
proposals over long, casual conversations.
The judge was suspended after his arrest, and did not win re-election in
Judge Gross drew attention soon after being elected in 1999, when he created a
Web site listing his legal decisions and published a book, “If the Robes Fit.”
He made headlines again when a neighbor spotted him showering nude in his
backyard with his two young children. The police said he sprayed a
responding officer with a garden hose, but he was not charged.
He raised eyebrows after ordering a jury to continue deliberating on Sept. 11,
2001. And in 2005 he had to declare a mistrial in a narcotics case when he
unknowingly invited the defendant’s sister to lunch during a break.
Posted Nov. 17