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Ex-N.Y. Judge Convicted of Shaking Down Attorney

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By Joel Zand on August 27, 2009 4:30 PM

Thomas Spargo, a former N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice was convicted by a federal jury today in Albany today of attempted extortion and bribery.

According to his original indictment (see below), in 2003 Spargo solicited a $10,000 bribe from any attorney who had cases pending before him. At trial, it federal prosecutors proved that when the attorney refused to pay the bribe, the Judge called the attorney on the telephone and told him that he and another judge in New York's Ulster County were assigned to handle divorce cases, including the attorney's own pending divorce case.

The message was clear: while he was sitting on the bench, then-Justice Spargo suggested that the attorney's failure to pay the bribe could have potentially negative personal and professional repercussions.

You can read Spargo's original federal criminal indictment here:

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Photo credit: Albany Times-Union

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