Judge: Aunt Told Me to Blow Her $$
New York Post
December 16, 2003
An embattled Brooklyn judge took the witness stand in Manhattan yesterday, where he said he blew through his ailing aunt's fortune because that's what the nonagenarian wanted him to do.
Michael Garson was testifying before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Walter Tolub to explain what happened to an unaccounted $178,000 that belonged his aunt, Sarah Gershenoff.
Gershenoff had close to $1 million in 1997, when Garson took control of her finances with his cousin, fellow Judge Gerald Garson, who's now embroiled in his own bribery scandal. Now she's almost broke.
The Garsons have accounted for most of the missing cash, saying they spent the bulk of it on taking care of Gershenoff, while the rest of it went to continue the "pattern of gift giving" she'd maintained throughout the years.
Michael Garson said they continued that pattern by giving "gifts" of tens of thousands of dollars to themselves.
"She wanted to see me and Gerald use" her money, he said, and to get to her income down to "Medicaid level."
Robert Kruger, the law guardian for the now-mentally incapacitated Gershenoff, wanted to question Garson under oath because he didn't have receipts to back his claims of what he spent on his aunt, as he was obligated to do.
Kruger wants Garson to pay the unaccounted for cash back to Gershenoff.