Jury convicts Stanley Purzycki on mail fraud chargesHillsborough attorney Stanley Purzycki was convicted Wednesday of three counts of mail fraud brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Mr. Purzycki’s jury trial stemmed from charges that he had bilked an elderly couple out of $100,000.
Hillsborough attorney Stanley Purzycki was convicted Wednesday of three counts of mail fraud brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Purzycki’s jury trial, held in Newark before U.S. District Judge Joseph Greenaway, stemmed from charges that he had bilked an elderly couple out of $100,000.
A jury read the verdict at 10 a.m. after deliberating on the case for six hours, from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, said prosecutor Deborah Gannett of the U.S. Attorney’s Fraud and Public Protection Division in Newark. The trial began March 29 and lasted for five days of testimony.
"I think the jury carefully considered the evidence, and they’ve spoken," Ms. Gannett said.
Mr. Purzycki, a former municipal judge for Hillsborough and Manville, is free on bail and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Greenaway on July 10.
Mail fraud carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, said Ms. Gannet.
Mr. Purzycki defended himself during the trial, with Lorraine Gauli-Rufo of the federal Public Defender’s Office in Newark acting as standby counsel.
Judge Greenaway appointed Ms. Gauli-Rufo after Mr. Purzycki’s medical problems caused multiple court adjournments, Ms. Gannett said.
Neither Mr. Purzycki nor Ms. Gauli-Rufo could be reached for comment.
The elderly couple, identified as Jan and Henryka Suchcicki of Toms River, testified against Mr. Purzycki during the trial. Mr. Suchcicki is Mr. Purzycki’s uncle.
The Suchcickis paid Mr. Purzycki with the understanding that he would use the money to develop a retirement community, pay them 9 percent annually and allow them to recoup their investment in one year if they desired.
Instead, Mr. Purzycki used the money to pay the Internal Revenue Service, his mortgage, the tax collector of Point Pleasant Beach and other expenses.
He mailed investment payments and partial investment payments to the couple to make the investment appear genuine, but did not return the couple’s investment when they asked him to in March 1995.
In response to a separate charge about the same matter filed by the state Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Ethics, which is seeking to have him disbarred, Mr. Purzycki denied telling the couple that he would use the money to buy real estate.
Prosecutors called two priests, the Rev. Kadius Krajewski and the Rev. Joseph Krajewski, and a nun, Sister Mary Louise Kwiatkowski, to testify during the trial.
Their testimony was intended to provide background on his previous business dealings, said Ms. Gannett.
The Office of Attorney Ethics has accused Mr. Purzycki of defrauding the Woodbridge assisted living and retirement home, St. Joseph’s Seniors Residence Inc., where Sister Kwiatkowski serves as administrator.
It also has accused him of defrauding the Oak Ridge-based order of Capuchin Franciscan Fathers, of which the Rev. Krajewski is a member.
Mr. Purzycki has denied these allegations and faces no criminal charges based on them.
The defense called a FBI special agent named Andrew Bell to testify, said Ms. Gannett. She declined to comment on how he was involved with the case.
Brian Gillet, deputy ethics counsel for the Office of Attorney Ethics, is scheduled to argue before the state Supreme Court’s disciplinary review board today that Mr. Purzycki should be disbarred.
The board will likely make a decision on the matter in five to six months, he said.
Mr. Gillet said he will mention the outcome of Mr. Purzycki’s trial during today’s hearing.
"I’m going to tell the board that he was convicted," he said. "But they will make up their own minds based on the record."
If the board decides to recommend disbarment, Mr. Purzycki his case would go before the state Supreme Court, which has the authority to disbar him. The court on Jan. 3 suspended Mr. Purzycki from practicing law due to the allegations against him, said Mr. Gillet.
Mr. Purzycki was a municipal judge in Hillsborough from 1967 to 1969, a judge in Manville in the 1960s, and a Manville borough attorney in the 1980s. He is affiliated with the Towne Center Drive law firm of Purzycki & Gorney.