My Story: judicial corruption hits home
The purpose of this website is to help protect future families from being exposed to the unjust, painful, mental and financial hardships inflicted upon my family by a corrupt, self serving judicial system controlling not only our legal system but the politics and news media within our state.
When a judge, Patricia Zimmerman, can egregiously disregard the canons she took an oath to uphold while presiding over her court, to protect 2 fellow attorneys from being prosecuted for the felonies they willingly and knowingly committed, and subsequently financially punish this law abiding, military family, for reporting those felonies to the police, it is time to change the system.
Transgressions by members of the legal fraternity are not reported by the news media. This is one of the main reasons I am developing this website. When a college professor is apprehended for taking money from a local non-profit group, this felony makes the headlines on and off the air, edition after edition in our local and state newspapers. If a policeman is pulled over for drunk driving, the news media can’t get enough of it. When a doctor is accused of the slightest infraction, it immediately is broadcast everywhere and his office is closed down before an investigation is even initiated. If a town clerk is suspected of taking municipal funds the story runs from the moment of discovery until sentencing. When there is credit card fraud, vandalism, or public intoxication it is all over our news media and newspapers. However, when two attorneys fraudulently take money from a person’s personal retirement account, a federal offense, and there is black and white evidence supporting the allegation, the news media won’t publish the story even when it is presented to them along with the evidence supporting the allegations. Only after I went to the Addison Independent, our local newspaper in Middlebury, Vermont, to let them know that Attorney Peter Langrock stated; “White collar crime is not prosecuted in the State of Vermont” did I finally receive a phone call from Addison County District Attorney Fenster after months of unreturned phone calls and being told that he was out of the office when I attempted to talk to him personally at his office and could see him behind the door. The newspaper obviously called him and my attorney, Mr. Langrock, but wasn’t given permission to publish the story. I can’t imagine the public not wanting to learn that one of the most prominent attorneys in the state said “white collar crime is not prosecuted in the State of Vermont.” This certainly was news to me and I am sure it would be news to the rest Vermont’s citizens. I am willing to bet that they painted me as an upset litigant in a divorce trial who just needed to cool off. Well, that was over 4 years ago, the evidence remains the same, it will not go away and neither will I! The only difference is that I am determined to get this injustice exposed with or without the news media as I am certain there are many more people just like me who the system has beaten into submission by taking their money, giving them excuse after excuse for no just resolution and know they eventually will give up. It is time to fight back.
Lawyers and judges note be allowed to be above the law and, if anything, should be held to a higher standard.
I have to take responsibility for marrying this attorney, an amazing con artist who targeted me, allowing her to steal all the money she could, close to $700,000, during our short 4-year marriage. Our family might have been able to survive this loss but we have not been able to survive being robbed a second time by this corrupt judge costing us over 3 times as much what had already been fraudulently taken from us. Knowing she was about to retire, Judge Zimmerman decided to save this attorney’s career by sweeping the felonies she committed under the carpet and corruptly placing the blame on me for reporting these crimes to the police.
I was persuaded by my ex-wife to sell my dental practice and retire in September of ’06. Three years later, after discovering that all of my liquid assets were missing, I filed for divorce. I was left with huge tax, insurance, and legal expenses with no way to pay for them. I went to work driving truck for FedEx and parking cars for our local funeral director until I had the opportunity to take the necessary courses to get my dental license back.
At the time of the divorce trial my ex-wife and her 3rd ex-husband were each making over 6 figures a year running their non-profit company funded by grants and US taxpayer dollars. I was 12 and 16 years older respectively, retired, and unable to pay for my children’s college expenses. With all of my liquid assets stolen, I had to liquidate whatever real estate I could sell in a down market to prevent complete bankruptcy from the 12% interest imposed on me by retiring Judge Zimmerman.
My ex-wife also took $4000 from my mother who had given her “power of attorney” to take care of her affairs. My elderly but mentally acute 96-year old mother, who waited for my dad to return from Africa and Europe during WWll, went to her grave disgusted with this judicial system that never extended her the decency, courtesy and Constitutional Right to even inquire about her loss.
Our family currently has two of our boys serving their country in the Mid-East with the Marines. One of these boys has witnessed the horrors of war first hand while serving 3 tours in Iraq, during which time he lost his copilot and 4 other of his close friends. The money I set aside for my daughter and her younger brother’s education was taken and what little I made after rejoining the workforce was used to pay attorney’s fees and the perpetrators who robbed us. As a consequence my daughter had to postpone starting a family, forcing her to work nights and weekends while going to school and still graduating with over $200,000 in college loans while I, their 71 year old Father, have been forced back to work at various offices with longer hours than at any other time in my own private practice. I still feel very fortunate to be able to work. I otherwise would have lost everything. Not only should this judge be disbarred and have her retirement taken from her as did the State Trooper convicted of violating the people’s trust by falsifying his time cards, my allegations should be thoroughly investigated by people other than more attorneys who tacitly dismiss all allegations of wrong doing by using some esoteric manipulative legal device to protect these corrupt judges. When positions of such high esteem and public trust can be misused without anyone stepping up to do what they know is right, the whole system needs to be examined and overhauled to protect the rest of the population from a profession allowing these egregious abuses with no accountability. These judges and attorneys know full well that they can do whatever they please to anyone of us without ever being held accountable. Once we are under their jurisdiction there are no measures in place to protect us from these arrogant, corrupt, untouchable oligarchs.
Lawyers cannot police lawyers and should not be allowed to do so.
I do not feel that every attorney is corrupt and personally know many who are outstanding, honest, hardworking decent people, trying to make this a better world and protect those in need of their services. I hope they will understand where I am coming from and will step up to bring the members of their profession taking advantage of the public’s trust to justice. Unfortunately, our criminal justice system has some very corrupt individuals who know they can get away with whatever they please because no one else in the system has the fortitude to risk their professional career to expose these ethical, criminal infractions. I have referenced the book “The Fraternity” written by Attorney and Judge John Fitzgerald Molloy who echoes my concerns about our judicial system. Judge Molloy exposes what the legal profession has done legally by manipulating the system. What has taken place here in Vermont is pure corruption and needs to be exposed and dealt with appropriately. It has infiltrated our politics, our news media and is at the root of what could eventually doom this wonderful country of ours. They have interpreted our Constitution and laws to their own benefit, making us more dependent on their services at ever increasing costs. They have tied our country up in laws written in such detail and ambiguity that they can be argued for years. The ever-increasing layers of bureaucracy they have created have taken away this country’s global competitive edge, and if not stopped, will sink us.
We have to stop this insidious cancer from spreading by starting at the local level where we have concrete evidence of a small sample of the corruption so pervasive in our country.
Witnesses could have been subpoenaed if an investigation was conducted into the Ponzi scheme my ex-wife ran. This never happened even though solid evidence was presented to the Attorney General and the banking and insurance office. A former friend of mine lost $200,000 and a close family member lost another $100,000. Many others were approached but fortunately decided not to invest. They were willing to testify but were never given the opportunity. Her former partner and one of the investors tried to have her prosecuted but finally had to give up because no one was willing to investigate. Had anyone other than an attorney attempted this type of Ponzi scheme, it would have been all over the news media. Has anyone ever heard of Mac Parker?
When you are retired, have no source of income because all of your savings have been swindled from you, are faced with legal bills well over 6 figures, and are charged 12% interest with no means to pay this travesty of justice, life gets pretty rough. Every attorney I saw advised me not to go to the police. The head of the Addison County State Police at the New Haven Barracks advised me to get a new Lawyer. I did.
When Weybridge’s town clerk embezzled several hundred thousand dollars it was announced that it would take a forensic team of investigators at least 6 months to unravel the paper trail. I asked my new attorney, James Foley, to ask the court for a continuance to give us time to investigate what happened to my family at the hands of 2 attorneys. He refused, forcing me to appear before the court “pro se” to request time to unravel a much more sophisticated crime concealed in piles of hidden paperwork by two very astute attorneys. His lack of support spoke volumes to the court allowing Judge Zimmerman to have a good laugh with the rest of the criminal judicial system. It is one big impenetrable fraternity!
In desperation I met with Attorney Langrock, convincing him to take my case even though I had already released two of his associates in his Burlington office over differences of how to proceed in this case. They were the ones advising me not to go to the cops.
At our first meeting he demanded a huge retainer that I told him I would have to pay over time. It was at this same first encounter that he proclaimed that white-collar crime wasn’t prosecuted in the State of Vermont, which compelled me to go to The Addison Independent as I previously stated.
That very night I finally received a call from our Addison County District Attorney, David Fenster, after unsuccessfully trying to talk to him for months. He immediately tried to intimidate me by saying I threatened his wife. I let him know this tactic would not work because I knew the message I left on his machine said no such thing and informed him that I could see him in his office when he sent his receptionist out to tell me that he was not there.
I had difficulty believing my Attorney, Peter Langrock, when he said he also could not reach Mr. Fenster and his calls were not returned. Finally, one of our local politicians convinced District Attorney Fenster to meet with me after months of unanswered calls and excuses. I invited Attorney Langrock to attend. DA Fenster said I needed a handwriting expert to prove my signature was forged on the promissory note removing money from my personal retirement account, a federal offense. I had to spend over $3,000 to have the handwriting expert confirm what Mr. Langrock already proved in court – that it indeed was a forgery, just the same as the one she forged on the very same document for her 3rd ex-husband, Attorney Gerry Ghazi. In doing so she committed perjury, under oath, in the same court of law in which she practiced, first saying that she witnessed Attorney Ghazi sign the document and then after Mr. Langrock forced Attorney Ghazi to admit that he did not sign the document, admit that she forged his signature. I say forged because she did not sign it with the initials required to do so when signing for someone else, but forged it to look like his signature which he admitted several times that it did, before suddenly remembering that indeed he did not sign it. Even after I presented Mr. Fenster with the evidence he requested, supporting my claim that my signature also was forged, he still would not agree to prosecute. All of this has been recorded in court transcripts. These 2 attorneys admitted taking the money only after I fortunately stumbled upon indisputable evidence buried under volumes of paperwork in an out of state company. They tried to pass off this concrete evidence with forged signatures as a straw transaction to avoid paying taxes. As far as I know this is tax evasion. Let’s see, they admitted to tax evasion, committed perjury under oath in a the very same court of law in which they practiced and committed forgery to remove money from my personal retirement account-a federal felony- and no one will prosecute them. My attorney would not address the other felonies she committed— fraud, identity theft and wire fraud. Does anyone think anyone other than an attorney could ever get away with multiple felonies, have their crimes swept under the carpet and be rewarded with again as much money as they originally fraudulently took? This is no “Robin Hood” story— a well off, hard working, frugal family was not robbed to give to the poor, this family was robbed twice to protect the careers of 2 unprosecuted professional thieves to save their careers as attorneys.
In the meantime, I was contacting all of my state representatives, state attorney general, governor and federal congressmen to no avail. They referred me to the Bar and Judicial Conduct Board. These 2 sham organizations in place to protect judges and lawyers are just that, shams! Completely controlled and manipulated by attorneys and judges. Without ever interviewing or talking to me in person they dismissed all my charges against my ex-wife and Judge Zimmerman. I have undeniable black and white evidence proven in a court of law, swept aside by a judge who took an oath pledging to report any such evidence of any wrong doing by a member of the “bar” to the proper authorities. Instead, this judge covered it up and today is an alternate on our State Supreme Court while enjoying her retirement provided by the taxpayers of this fine state.
I had no chance of winning an appeal when the judge whose decision I was appealing sits on the bench I was appealing to. No judge should be allowed to serve on The State Supreme Court when there is any possibility of one of his or her cases being appealed! There hasn’t been one attorney who has read my divorce order who hasn’t commented that she went out of her way to assail my character and clearly went overboard for a 4-year marriage. This is assuming my allegations of the felonies my ex-wife committed were false which they are not!
There must be some truth in what I have to say because my trucks have been on the road for well over a year with my sign publicly accusing these 2 attorneys of being criminals and challenging them to sue me if it isn’t true. (See truck picture)
These trucks remain invisible to the news media. I find it vey interesting that Sam Hemmingway of The Burlington Free Press and Ann Galloway of Vermont Digger would not even take the time to acknowledge receipt of the pictures and information I sent them concerning this case. Sam Hemingway has reported on numerous cases of embezzlement with much less money involved. Of course, none of the perpetrators were attorneys. In today’s Burlington Free Press, 4/16/14, he reported that Judge William K. Sessions sentenced Debra Kinney, 59, of Derby to 3 years in prison and 5 years of supervised probation along with $250,000 in forfeiture to the government, even when the loss to the customers was covered by a federal insurance program. Judge Zimmerman, swept the crimes of the perpetrators, 2 attorneys, under the table and forced my family to pay them $700,000 at 12% interest! We had no such insurance and have been suffering the hardships of this egregiously corrupt decision for the last 4 years!
Judge Zimmerman knew she was about to retire and would never be held accountable for the behavior she should have been thrown off the bench and disbarred for. Judge Timothy Tomasi replaced her having the unenviable duty to enforce what anyone could easily understand was a very biased and totally unjust order. He knew something was not right. I became frustrated with my attorney for not standing up for my rights. I finally stood up and demanded that the court hear what I had to say. Attorney Langrock told the judge that he could not control me. I apologized to Judge Tomasi and he let me continue to voice the facts that up until this time were never presented by my attorney. He starts to hear, over many objections from my ex-wife’s attorney, that I have been denied a fair trial.
While this was happening I had hopes that my appeal to the Supreme Court would restore my faith in our judicial system. I was working every job I could find to pay Mr. Langrock’s exorbitant legal fees. No one ever informed me Judge Zimmerman was now sitting on the State Supreme Court as an alternate. Again, what chance did I have to appeal her totally corrupt order when she was associated on a daily basis with the members of the very court I was hoping to appeal her unjust order to? The felonies she covered up were now buried. How very convenient. This is America? I told judge Tomasi that I would have more rights as an American in a court in Iran than I had with Judge Zimmerman. Judge Tomasi knew this very corrupt judge had victimized me, and after spending over $40,000 in legal fees bringing him up to speed in this case he was conveniently replaced by Judge Linda Levitt. Judge Tomasi was still hearing cases at the same venue but I now have Judge Levitt. Did I get reimbursed for wasting all of that money? No, it is just another means available to this system to wear someone down financially and emotionally into submission.
After unsuccessfully complaining about having Judge Tomasi removed and replaced with another dishonest judge, Linda Levitt, she arrogantly and smugly relished ordering me to pay full-face retail price for furniture that my ex-wife claimed to be her personal property along with my ex-wife’s attorney’s fees for the time we spent in front of Judge Tomasi. This furniture was purchased with my money and used in a rental property owned solely by me. The “most honorable” Judge Levitt made me pay my ex-wife full “new” retail value for used furniture which I sold for $2000 before our divorce. Just last month I finished paying my ex-wife the $15,000 ordered by Judge Leavitt for this furniture plus another $1000 in interest bringing the total paid to date at well over $500,000. I am still faced with paying $200,000 to Citizens Bank for the money she fraudulently took from my personal line of credit and well over $120,000 in Federal and State taxes for being forced to sell property from my retirement account. This judge is also attempting to silence my freedom of speech by threatening to seize my truck!
This is how far and how deep these corrupt Vermont Judges will go to force you into submission.
While all this was taking place I continued to hold out hope for justice as Mr. Langrock preached that the wheels of justice turn slowly. He convinced me to sell the aforementioned property to satisfy the corrupt order. He continued to charge me $75 for one-minute conversations and 2 sentence e-mails slowly wearing me down and even calling me a poor loser. He placed the blame for losing the case before Judge Zimmerman on me, saying that I was a poor witness. It is my belief that he never took responsibility for being far outclassed by the opposing attorney who came prepared with fraudulent financials without ever being forced to produce the documentation to back them up, that he allowed us to be railroaded through divorce court, never complaining when we were denied time and witnesses in this very complex case.
I knew my only hope was to have Addison County District Attorney David Fenster prosecute her for the felonies she committed. Because taking money from a person’s retirement account is a federal crime, my attorney thought it should be prosecuted in US Federal Court. Assistant US Attorney Paul Van DeGraaf said he believed that she did indeed commit these crimes but the amount of money taken was too small to waste the resources of his office. The consequence of his not prosecuting these crimes gave Judge Zimmerman “carte blanche” to carry out her corrupt order resulting in 5 generations of our family’s hard work being unjustly taken from us while our boys are risking their lives in the Marines to protect the country whose Constitution grants us the right to be protected from crimes committed against us. As Judge Molloy so clearly points out in his book “The Fraternity”, the brethren stick together and their unspoken loyalty to the members of the fraternity deny citizens of their rights as granted in the Constitution.
Attorney Peter Langrock informed me that DA Fenster had aspirations of becoming a judge. He said he would talk with him and try to convince him to prosecute.
Mr. Langrock finally got back to me after speaking with District Attorney Fenster and informed me that he suggested that DA Fenster convene a grand Jury for the purpose of supporting his decision for prosecution. I told Attorney Langrock that I did not trust DA Fenster as he has never spoken to me or asked for any additional information after I sent him the report from the handwriting expert supporting my claim that my signature also was forged. I told Attorney Langrock I thought District Attorney Fenster was a dishonest man and that he didn’t need to call a Grand Jury to support his decision to prosecute.
Attorney Langrock tried to convince me that convening a grand jury was a big deal and patted himself on the back for convincing DA Fenster for taking this very unusual step. He said the case would go before the Grand Jury and that would be the end of it. I corrected him and said;“You mean, Peter, it would just be the beginning!” He replied; “you know what I mean”. I again stressed that I was reluctant to be a part of this unnecessary Grand Jury development because DA Fenster had never inquired about what I had to say. Attorney Langrock responded that any good DA could convince a grand jury to prosecute a “ham sandwich”.
When I arrived at the courthouse, waiting to be called before the Grand Jury, I had an opportunity to informally chat with detective Robert Patten who initially interviewed me at the request of the New Haven State Police Commander, the one who told me to fire my attorney. I wondered why he was there because I never had the opportunity to discuss the issues with him other than the time I first went to the State Police Barracks to report what had happened to my family over 3 years ago. Some of his remarks while we were waiting to be called before the Grand Jury only increased my suspicions.
I had been waiting for justice for nearly 4 years. DA Fenster soon confirmed my worst nightmare after only a few minutes of his questioning before the Grand Jury. My ex-wife decided not to appear and DA Fenster was persuading the jury not to prosecute.
There is no judge at a Grand Jury hearing, no court officer, and no court reporter— at least not at this one, and I was not allowed to have an attorney. I finally interrupted him asking to speak to him privately. I asked him what he was doing. I let him know I was aware of his betrayal and after a few more questions before the jury, he dismissed me telling me that I was not allowed to discuss anything about this case to anyone. I immediately called Attorney Langrock first asking him if I was allowed to discuss the case with him. I then told him that DA Fenster betrayed me. Attorney Langrock called me a couple of hours later informing me that the grand jury decided not to have the DA prosecute because he told them that they paid the money back. As far as I know you don’t get to rob a bank and then not have to be accountable for your crime if you pay the money back! I am certain that DA Fenster did not tell them that the money was paid back with more of the nearly $700,000 they took from me that they did not pay back! Attorney Langrock ignored my repeated requests to have the bank records subpoenaed which would have shown this is where the money came from in addition to paying her ex-husband partially back for his foolish investment in her Ponzi scheme. Shortly thereafter I went to Attorney Langrock’s office to pick up my records and take them to a new attorney as I believed he was complicit.
I have no way of proving my attorney betrayed me after paying him well over $100,000 in the pursuit of justice that he convinced me would take time. He persuaded me to sell my farm knowing full well that I had no way to pay the taxes for doing so. Vermont is a very small state and the legal community is a very loyal close-knit community with no one daring to break rank for the sake of justice. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether my own attorney betrayed me. Can anyone believe this very new DA with aspirations of becoming a judge would risk betraying the wishes of one of the most powerful attorneys in the State of Vermont, the very same one who convinced him to convene the Grand Jury, knowing full well that the attorney who is the head of the nominating committee that proposes the names of attorneys to the Governor for consideration of being selected a judge is once again an associate of Attorney Langrock? The Bar in Vermont is very small and the number of players in the criminal justice system is much, much, smaller. All of them know one another and no one will break rank.
I am attempting to expose this on this website because I know I will never receive fair representation in this state and the news media is also complicit in keeping this from the public.
I’d like to provide a little more insight about my ex-wife’s ability as a con artist. It may be hard to believe, but she had me convinced that I was suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia. She would tell me time and time again that she told me something that I could not recall. I was beginning to believe that I actually was starting to lose my memory. I had no idea that also was telling my sister and children along with my former office manager that she thought I was suffering from dementia. At the time, not knowing all of my savings were being were being fraudulently taken, I was taking flying lessons. I took the private pilot’s written exam and was told that I was only the 4th person to score a perfect 100. I then told my ex wife that I didn’t think I had a very severe case of dementia to be able to perform so well on that exam. That was the last I heard about my Alzheimer’s.
One very important lesson I learned from this very clever, con artist, attorney, ex-wife of mine was the fact that there is an unspoken code among attorneys and judges that is not apparent to those of us not trained to be a trial attorney. When I asked her how she could represent someone she clearly knew committed a crime she was defending them against in court, she replied, “What you don’t say in court is more important than what you do say and besides, I am getting paid.” This helps me understand the theater that was put on for my benefit. At times I along with the court officer were the only 2 non-attorneys in the courtroom sometimes occupied with as many as 7 other attorneys including the judge. I believe their performance was dictated by this unspoken code with everyone in on the joke except me. Judge Zimmerman allowed her to have 2 other attorneys testify on her behalf and only allowed me to have one hostile witness, her 3rd ex-husband and fellow perpetrator, Attorney Gerry Ghazi. Attorney Langrock’s submissiveness and lack of objection spoke volumes to the court leaving me desperate. This is why I became so frustrated and had to stand up and speak for myself in front of Judge Tomasi. It is all in the court transcripts. Judge Tomasi was then removed from the case. He and I are probably the only ones not laughing when the good old boys and girls club gets together to share war stories
Eventually I hope my story will get out and other people who I am certain have experienced similar injustices will contribute to this website. I will try to keep this site current and perhaps together we can take a small baby step in stopping the corruption, fueled by impunitive greed, which seems to be overtaking our country.
John H. Viskup, DMD
Link to Full Story: Lawyers can and will not police lawyers