Thursday, February 9, 2012

New York Courts Stealing Trust Funds from Special Need and Disabled Community

There are many unjust cases in the world, but not many can surpass the disgust, corruption and outrageous abuse of the system quite like this one. 

Former New York State Senator and Attorney Joseph R. Pisani, lauded as a child and disability advocate, has stolen upwards of $2,000,000 from a disabled Westchester, NY girl. The courts in New York have long trampled on the elderly and disabled for many years. One county in particular, Westchester, has allowed a special needs trust for disabled child, Andie Masotti, who suffers from high functioning autism, (according to the country's leading expert Dr. Federici), to illegally be drained without any regard to what her father legally set forth in a trust for her prior to his death in 2006. 

Ann Masotti, mother and legal guardian of her daughter Andie, joined us live today in our studio's to shine a huge beacon on the disturbing and, by all accounts, illegal actions that have transpired in this case. Oh, by the way, Mr. Pisani is a convicted felon and has a very long history of questionable and unethical activity, yet the courts continually allow him to present himself as a representative for young Andie without any accountability.

This story will outrage you. If anyone has a similar case, or you want to help in this case, please do not hesitate to contact Susan by email at She is ready to jump into action and shine a light on any and all individuals that are compromising the health and well-being of the elderly, disabled and special needs citizens.

Below is the podcast from today's show.  

A Brief History of the former Senator:

MARCH 1981: After a vigorous campaign by parents of mentally challenged and developmentally disabled children, Pisani co-sponsors proposed State legislation to pass a $1.9 million appropriation to absorb the back mortgage on the Mental Retardation Institute’s building in Valhalla, New York, giving the facility “a fresh start”. (New York Times, March 15, 1981)
·         Pisani is indicted for diverting more than $80,000 by arranging a no-show job on his law firm’s payroll, disguising personal expenses as campaign expenses and stealing from escrow accounts of his law clients.
·         Some of the charges include activities performed during his service as Chairman of the Temporary State Commission on Child Welfare (see above).
·         Records of the indictment on file with the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court in White Plains, N.Y. for the probate of Vito Masotti’s estate indicate that on or about August 8, 1979, the defendant directed thousands of dollars in funds credited to Erma Jean Gina in a client escrow account be withdrawn, charged to Erma Jean Gina and paid to a friend of Pisani in connection with the repayment of certain investments by that friend, at a guaranteed interest rate of 10 per cent.

·         The trial transcripts note that Pisani forged Ms. Gina’s signature more than once and that “this was not some sort of legitimate transaction.”
·         During trial, Federal District Court Prosecutor Charles G. LaBella cites testimony and documents to support the charges that Pisani had embezzled money, evaded taxes on it and tried to obstruct the investigation. Referring to the embezzlement, LaBella says that “for years (the Senator) had been robbing Ms. Gina blind.” He also displays checks to show that Pisani used campaign funds to buy gifts for his extra-marital girlfriend (who is registered in the Child Commission Report as recording secretary), take vacation trips and invest in professional boxing while listing the expenditures as campaign costs on his financial statements. Senator Pisani, the prosecutor says, “was trying to hide what he was doing from the public.” (The New York Times, May 24, 1984)

·         The jury convicts on 18 counts, acquits on 11 and fails to agree on others. (Judge David N. Edelstein presided; Federal District Court in Manhattan)
·         Pisani is sentenced to four years in prison in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The lawyer and Senator, who faces disbarment, remains free pending appeal.
·         He resigns his Senate post and stops practicing law.
·         He immediately appeals the verdict.
·         A Westchester County child abuse agency, The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, charges that former State Senator Pisani set up a fake child abuse agency in Yonkers. The agency alleges that the Yonkers Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has not investigated any cases, has no employees and illegally issued laypeople licenses and guns.

·         The tenets of the century-old law allowing the formation of such an agency also permits those who are principals of said agency to be legally named any child’s guardian.
·         In court papers, the County Agency reports the Yonkers group has registered 34 people as ‘peace officers’ with the State, allowing them to carry guns and identify themselves as detectives yet has investigated no cases and has no employees.

·         In 1989 N.Y. NPC. LAW § 1403: NY Code - Section 1403: Corporations for the Prevention of Cruelty, forced the Yonkers group to disband after it was found that 17 out of 24 chapters, including the Yonkers agency, were found to be fronts for certain groups who had utilized a legal loophole that allowed them to carry guns and wear badges. In truth, those societies were abusing the 100 year old law that gave peace officer status to SPCC members so they could protect the rights of children. The societies became obsolete when governments developed social service agencies to look out for children, but the law allowing the formation of SPCCs remained on the books.
o    In part, the 1989 law reads: (1-a) No corporation for the prevention of cruelty to children, or for
  the dual purpose of prevention of cruelty to  children  and  cruelty  to
  animals  shall  be  incorporated  on  or  after November first, nineteen
  hundred  eighty-nine.  Any  such  corporations,  incorporated  prior  to
  November  first, nineteen hundred eighty-nine, may exercise their powers
  and conduct their operation in any adjacent  county  in  which  no  such
  corporations  exist until the establishment of such corporations therein
  prior to November first,  nineteen  hundred  eighty-nine. 
SEPTEMBER 12, 1985: A court decision reverses most of Pisani’s 1984 conviction, except the embezzlement and tax evasion charges. His final sentence, after appeal, is a year and a day in federal prison.
OCTOBER 1985: Pisani is disbarred.
·         Pisani, despite his standing convictions, is allowed to represent clients in 794 cases to reduce property taxes for business owners and corporations in the very municipalities where he used to represent its citizens. (NOTE: The cases are listed on the NYS Unified Court System website records as being handled by Joseph R. Pisani, Esq. but nowhere in these case records are a reference to employment limitations placed upon Pisani due to his conviction and disbarment.)
·         According to the New York State Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (NY SID #0817057K), Pisani does not receive a full release from the State, “removing all legal bars and disabilities to employment, license and privilege until January 1, 2008.”
·         Yet from the date of his release from prison in 1986 to the present, Pisani continually practices law, including writing and executing a new will for a successful but very ill New Rochelle hairdresser, businessman and property owner (Vito Masotti), naming himself as Co-Executor and Trustee.

MARCH 1987: Pisani is returned to jail “for a year and a day” from a Manhattan halfway house for “violations of the center’s rules and regulations.” Friends said he was found with more than an allowable amount of prescription drugs in his system. (New York Times; March 20, 1987)

Today, in the studio Ann Masotti discussed how a legal system depleted a special needs child's funds set-up in an irrevocable trust by her father, prior to his death.  

Download Podcast - SMM 2-9-2012

Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education as a educator and specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies directing prevention for high risk situations and cases.

 A national trainer to law enforcement, training officers, prosecutors, judges, legislators, social service providers, healthcare professionals, victim advocates and the faith based community and author.. In partnership with Management Resources Ltd. of New York addressing prevention and solutions within the community to the workplace. Host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show,"Time'sUp!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host onCrime Wire. Online contributions: Forbes : Crime, She Writes providing commentary about the hottest topics on crime, justice, and law from a woman’s perspective, as well as Time's Up! a blog which searches for solutions (SOS) for victims of crime


Lake Goddess said...

Would judges have been involved in the execution of the will or the selling of this girl's property? Would they not also be culpable in this scam? Sounds to me like Joseph R. Pisani needs to be back in jail!

Donna R. Gore said...

Susan... This was one of your best! I could hear the passion in your voice throughout!
What a GREAT Show! As a professional working for a state agency working with multiply disabled and vulnerable people.. I THANK YOU for CARING for people like Andie!

This former Senator and “Elderstatesman” is a criminal of the worst kind, as he used and abused this child, this family, and the system in perpetrating his own agenda!

I applaud Ann for her love,advocacy and perseverance to assist her daughter, and to expose the injustices….

Let’s keep the ball rolling…

Donna R. Gore, M. A.

Catherine Wilson said...


Thank you for picking up this story. I wrote a series of articles on thie THREE years ago and have found other abuses of the disbaled and deceased in our Surrogates' courts, testified to the NYS Senate on this issue, yet the judges, court administration, and Legislature have done NOTHING to stop these abuses of such victims!

Every court proceeding of an incapacitated individual and the deceased should be subject to an annual audit of an independent accountant in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) and Sarbenes-Oxley (Sox) NOT in accordance with the lax court "audit" definitions - current rules merely demand laundry lists of numbers with no proof of expenses or receipts. An auditor would also verify that proper procedures are followed so this would turn up individuals who are not legally qualified to be in charge of trusts and estates. Currently, no such operational audits are performed by the courts.

Catherine Wilson

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