Saturday, November 17, 2007

Former Nassau County Judge Gets Three Years for Helping Mafia

POSTED: 5:34 pm EST November 16, 2007

NEW YORK -- A former Nassau County judge was sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison for conspiring to launder more than $400,000 for members of the Genovese crime family.

David Gross, 45, pleaded guilty in July and admitted he agreed to try to secretly move cash he believed 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. Gross faced a possible maximum of 20 years, but Judge Arthur Spatt handed down a 33-month sentence during Friday's sentencing.

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.

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