SCAPEGOAT: DeFiore, Scarpino, DiNapoli and the Looting of a $25 Million Estate in Westchester

Cheated heir survived by rummaging through trash cans for bottle deposits

SCAPEGOAT: DeFiore, Scarpino, DiNapoli and the Looting of a $25 Million Estate in Westchester

WHITE PLAINS, NY (February 15, 2023) — Albert Mallard, Jr. was an only child whose mother predeceased his father, Albert Mallard, Sr. The millionaire father and son lived together in a one-bedroom apartment in Mount Vernon, NY until Mallard, Sr. died at age 94.

Mallard, Jr., then 48 years old, was intelligent and well read, despite never having worked, graduated college, owned a car, secured a driver’s license or any other official ID. Without official ID, the son could not be Executor of his father’s estate.

In 2008, Anthony Scarpino, then a Westchester County Surrogate Judge, appointed an administrator from out-of-state, Gregory Bayard, who had no experience and who was unknown by the decedent or his son. For more than nine years, the son received nothing from the estate, content to rummage through trash cans for bottle deposits and cash dividend checks still coming in for his father.

In 2010, Mallard, Jr.’s cousin became convinced that the estate was being looted. He asked his friend, this writer, to investigate the matter. I learned that contrary to what the notarized documents filed with the court by Bayard purported to show, Mallard, Jr. had never signed them, much less travelled to New Jersey where they were allegedly notarized.

Parisi had Mallard, Jr. file a complaint with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office and petitioned the Surrogate Court to invalidate Bayard’s appointment. In his defense, Bayard now claimed that Mallard, Jr. had signed the papers not in New Jersey but in a supermarket parking lot in Mount Vernon in the presence of the out-of-state notary, Vincent Tabbachino.

Parisi offered this new proof of fraud to the DA’s office, only to learn that they had closed their investigation after interviewing the out-of-state notary, a retired police detective and former Guttenberg, New Jersey, councilman, and finding him “credible.” In examining four boxes of documents to prepare for the suit, I learned that Mallard Sr. had had an attorney prepare a will and that she had filed it upon his death with the same Surrogate Court that appointed Bayard administrator.

After my constant prodding, the Surrogate Court finally discovered the original will in its files naming Mallard Jr. as Executor and leaving everything to his wife and should she predecease him to Mallard Jr. and revoked Bayard’s status as Administrator, naming Mallard Jr. as Executor.

While litigation over Bayard’s accounting for the estate dragged on, I prodded Mallard Jr. to get official ID for a year to no avail. As a result, his father’s bank refused to substitute Mallard Jr. as fiduciary on the estate accounts. A new Surrogate Judge with no ties to Westchester County was now handling the estate and suspended Mallard Jr. as Executor since he would not obtain official ID.

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Concerned that the Surrogate would now have the Public Administrator manage the estate, Mallard Jr. suggested I be appointed Administrator. Upon the grant of authority by the court, I immediately checked the balances of the two estate accounts which, according to Bayard’s accounting, contained about $2 million. There were no funds in the account. I subpoenaed the bank statements which showed withdrawals by Bayard “to pay taxes.” No taxes were ever paid.

I engaged my wife’s firm, Stokes Recovery, to reclaim estate funds from the New York State Comptroller in June 2017. An initial claim of $50,000 was presented to which there was no response for several months. On November 6, 2018, I received a call back from the Comptroller’s office which, at best, was vague about “legal issues” with the abandoned property.

Ten days later, FBI agents and postal inspectors appeared at my house unannounced at 8:30 A.M. They were unaware of the missing funds and uninterested. Their only interest was the fees me and my wife’s firm were to collect. Nine months later, at 5:00 A.M. on August 20, 2018, four federal agents, three men and a woman, executed a no-knock warrant and arrested me in my bedroom while my wife and I were in bed, undressed.


Vincent Tabbachino, the “credible” notary, was convicted of bribery and money laundering in a 2010 Hudson County, New Jersey, corruption trial. In 2012 he was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison and died in October 2014.

Janet DiFiore, the Westchester County District Attorney who found Tabbachino “credible” and declined to investigate Bayard’s appointment as estate administrator, then became the Chief Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals. She resigned last summer rather than face a public hearing on misconduct. DiFiore grew up in Mount Vernon.

Gregory Bayard wrote more than a dozen checks and made more than 70 wire transfers from the estate to his personal account totaling at least $1.4 million while administrator. Bayard pled guilty to bilking the estate in 2019 and was sentenced to two years in federal prison in October 2019 and ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution. He began his two-year sentence in 2020 and was released on November 16, 2021.

Anthony Scarpino, the Westchester Surrogate Judge who appointed Bayard despite having a valid will on file with his office naming Mallard, Jr. as Executor, and despite Bayard having no experience as an Administrator nor being known to the Mallard family, served one term as Westchester County District Attorney.

Scarpino succeeded Janet DiFiore as Westchester District Attorney but was defeated for reelection in 2020 and is now in private practice.

Scarpino grew up in Mount Vernon and started his career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Mount Vernon.

Alfred Mallard, Jr. refused to cooperate with the federal investigators and refused to file a complaint against me. Six Mount Vernon police officers with three federal agents broke down his apartment door one morning at 5:00 A.M. and dragged the 66-year-old man out on a charge of failing to honor a grand jury subpoena. His landlord evicted him as a result, and he went to live in a rooming house. In exchange for a grant of immunity relating to cashing his father’s stock dividend checks, he finally testified.

Alfred Mallard, Jr. died of COVID in September 2020 where he grew up – in Mount Vernon – having never benefitted from the estate.

Before passing, he phoned me, on home confinement after my release from Otisville, stating we were both victim of malicious prosecution, and proposing joint legal action.

He was incredulous that I had pled guilty, that having never received a dime in fees from the estate even while Administrator, struck a plea bargain and pled guilty to a single count of mail fraud. I was sentenced to six months in federal prison and served it at Otisville.

Thomas DiNapoli, the New York State Comptroller who initiated the investigation into my fees, never investigated or objected to the improperly appointed Administrator Bayard despite being notified by me that Mallard’s signature had been forged in the court papers appointing Bayard, is completing his third four-year term.

DiNapoli was the hand-picked candidate of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver when the Comptroller’s office became vacant in 2007. Silver died in federal prison on January 24, 2022 while serving a seven-year federal prison term for corruption.

In 2012, Silver had authorized a secret payment of $103,080 in public funds to settle sexual harassment claims against one of his top lieutenants, Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez of Brooklyn. Despite being the state official in charge of disbursing payments from the state treasury, DiNapoli denied being involved in the settlement saying only lower-level workers processed it without the power to stop it. However, emails subsequently obtained by The Associated Press show days of back-and-forth conversations among the counsels for Silver, DiNapoli and the then Attorney General.

The estate, still abandoned property consisting of stock shares under the control of DiNapoli and the Public Administrator, is now estimated to be worth more than $25 million. Paternal cousins and unknown maternal cousins are now the relatives with a claim to the estate.

Guy Parisi is the author of Scapegoat, due out in Spring 2023. Reserve a copy today by e-mailing:

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