Monday, July 16, 2007

Former Judge Faces 20 Years In Prison For Mafia Dealings

Friends of ours: Genovese Crime Family, Nicholas Gruttadauria
Friends of mind: David Gross

A former Nassau County judge pleaded guilty Friday to trying to launder more than $400,000 for members of the Genovese crime family.

David Gross, 45, admitted he agreed to try to launder the cash he knew was the result of a jewelry heist. What Gross did not know is that one of the men he was making the deal with was an undercover FBI agent.

Federal prosecutors said Gross planned to keep up to 20 percent of all cash he agreed to launder. He also agreed to try to sell more than $280,000 worth of stolen diamonds. "Sworn to do justice, a sitting judge violated his oath as well as the law when he partnered with a member of organized crime to launder proceeds of criminal activity," U.S. attorney Roslynn Mauskopf said.

Gross was first elected as a Nassau County judge in 1999. He was arrested in 2005 and suspended pending the outcome of the criminal case against him. The investigation began after the FBI developed leads stemming from raids on several mafia-run gambling houses on Long Island.

New York FBI Director Mark Mershon described Gross' criminal conduct as "the most egregious betrayals of the public trust."

Investigators said the former judge had teamed up with Nicholas Gruttadauria who they said is a member of the Genovese crime family. Gruttadauria has also pleaded guilty. FBI officials said the two men tried to use invoices from Freeport restaurant Cafe By The Sea to launder the money.

Gross faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Thanks to WNBC

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