Part II – Westchester Surrogate’s Courts Dastardly Deeds

Part II- Westchester Surrogate’s Court’s Dastardly Deeds

Westchester Surrogate’s Court’s Dastardly Deeds – Part II

by Frank Brady © 2007
Friday, April 6, 2007

After the death of Scarsdale resident Berta Murray, the next owner of
the 88-year-old widow’s home turned out to be Westchester Surrogate’s
Court employee, court attorney/referee Jody Keltz and her
attorney-husband, Carl Peluso. And as earlier reported, that
Westchester County Surrogate’s Court court attorney/referee worked in
the very same court’s law department charged with the duty to uphold
the integrity of Berta’s affairs.

“It’s outrageous that a Surrogate’s Court lawyer bought Berta’s
house,” said an 80-plus-year-old cousin of Berta, and who first
learned in February of this year that Ms. Keltz was a lawyer in the
Westchester Surrogate’s Court. “This stinks to high heaven, and I’m
mad. It’s just not right, I don’t like this at all!” she added.

As a named beneficiary, the cousin was to receive a third of the
house, and she did receive a check and release in the mail but never
an accounting of the financial transactions. “They never gave me
papers with all the figures,” and she now asks, “Where did the rest of
the money go?”

In March of 2007, the Inspector General of the New York State Office
of Court Administration began an investigation into the circumstances
as to how the Surrogate court attorney/referee and her
attorney-husband came to own the widow’s home in 1988.

In a related inquiry, the 1988 sale of Berta’s home at 168 Gaylor
Road, has now become part of an investigation into the executor of
Berta’s estate, The Bank of New York.

None of Berta’s relatives can figure out how or why the Bank of New
York became the executor of Berta’s estate. And they believe the fact
that a Surrogate’s Court court attorney/referee employee’s purchase
of that home is highly improper.

“The lawyers pulled as fast one,” Berta’s cousin says. “This is awful.”

The FBI has been investigating allegations against the Bank of New
York that they violated terms of a 2005 non-prosecution agreement
where the bank admitted to criminal conduct involving fraud, cover-ups
and money laundering, and paid $38 million to the federal government
in settlement. In March of this year, the dealings surrounding the
ownership of the deceased widow’s home was added to the inquiries by
the FBI into the activity of the Bank of New York.

See Related Story dated Wednesday, March 21, 2007:
“Westchester Surrogate’s Court’s Dastardly Deeds” (Part I) © 2007


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