A Queens lawyer accused of looting the estate of a Brooklyn judge is being probed by a grand jury over seven counts of grand larceny that accuse him of pocketing more than $700,000 in inheritance, The Post has learned.
Attorney Frank Racano — currently serving a 30 day contempt-of-court sentence for not accounting for funds taken from the estate of the late Judge John Phillips — admitted to a Brooklyn surrogate’s court judge in March that he’d written checks to himself from the deceased jurist’s escrow account.
The Brooklyn DA’s office is “moving forward with an indictment on the criminal charges,” Phillips’ nephew, the Rev. Samuel Boykin, said Wednesday.
“My family and I are alleging that he has ripped the estate off for 713,000,” Boykin said of Racano, who he had hired to help handle the estate.
A law enforcement source confirmed Racano was “under investigation.”
The disgruntled nephew also recently filed a $160 million notice of claim against the city, saying he was improperly removed as executor of Phillips’ estate in January 2015 and “illegally” replaced with public administrator Charles Fiori.
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(2016) Lawyer Probed in 'Kung-Fu Judge' Missing $700k Inheritance
“They said they were investigating the check and where the check came from and what the amount should or should not have been,” said Phillips’ nephew, the Rev. Samuel Boykin, who is the executor of his uncle’s estate.
“They’re going to find out how much all 11 people were supposed to actually receive.”
Source:(2014) DA Probing Hynes for Alleged Improper Use of Forfeiture Money
The Brooklyn DA is probing how a prominent judge came to die penniless in a nursing home, after angry relatives claimed his estate had been looted and demanded an investigation.
Relatives of Civil Court Judge John Phillips — known as “the kung-fu judge” because of his black belt — say his court-appointed guardians took exorbitant fees and ran up a million-dollar IRS bill by failing to file taxes.
The Rev. Samuel Boykin, a nephew of the Alzheimer’s- stricken Phillips, estimates the alleged rip-off cost the judge and his heirs $20 million to $30 million.
A spokeswoman for DA Kenneth Thompson said his office is reviewing documents Boykin submitted.
One guardian was accused in 2006 of improperly paying herself out of Phillips’ assets. Then-DA Charles Hynes referred the case to the Appellate Division, and the guardian was suspended for taking $327,000.
(2014) DA Probes Prominent Judge's Death in Nursing Home