Queens Resident Claims Retaliation after Reporting Judge Viscovich To FBI 

Mbaye in front of N.Y. State Supreme Court, Queens, where he claims he was “grilled” by Judge Viscovich over his visit to the FBI.

Queens resident Gorgui Mbaye claims he hasn’t been able to touch a penny of $276,000 of his own money in a Chase brokerage account in five years because of his ex-wife and the notorious Judge William A. Viscovich of New York State Supreme Court, Queens County, who presided over his divorce case.

Mbaye’s funds came from a 2009 car accident settlement and even Judge Viscovich agreed that under New York State law the money wasn’t part of marital assets for equitable distribution. 

Yet, Mbaye believes, the judge and the Attorney For the Children (AFC), Terrence Worms, tried to pressure him into sharing the accident money with Ms. Mbaye, and he reported the matter to the FBI. At one point Judge Viscovich even suggested that he give his ex-wife anywhere between $50,000 to $80,000. Mbaye says he wants to invest most of the money into his three children’s future education. 

He believes Judge Viscovich eventually granted full custody of the couple’s children to his ex-wife in retaliation after he informed AFC Worms of his visit to the FBI.

Judge Viscovich. Screenshot from NBC TV.

Judge Viscovich didn’t respond to questions submitted by e-mail and referred Black Star News to the spokesperson for the New York Unified Courts system who also didn’t respond.

AFC Worms also didn’t respond to questions submitted via e-mail message.

Viscovich is notorious for bullying the parties he disfavors in divorce cases; many of their stories have been covered by Black Star News. Viscovich yells at his victims and threatens to have them locked up on Rikers Island, the 413-acre island in the Bronx that contains the City’s largest jail.

A Queens physician named Robby Mahadeo found himself in hot waters for daring to question Judge Viscovich about why he was ordered to pay $100,000 in legal fees to Alyssa Eisner, his wife’s attorney, when the couple had a prenuptial agreement. 

For standing up for his rights, Dr. Mahadeo ended up spending a long weekend on Rikers island on the tyrannical judge’s order. A melee erupted in the jail cell where Dr. Mahadeo was confined and he ended up with a bruised arm. The experience was enough to coerce him into coughing up $100,000 to Eisner.

Viscovich also let Eisner off the hook for lying that she’d properly served Dr. Mahadeo. 

Black Star News’ coverage of Viscovich’s biased rulings against Dr. Mahadeo was featured on a television news segment by NBC investigative reporter Sarah Wallace. 

Other New Yorkers who’ve had the misfortune of incurring Viscovich’s disfavor in their own divorce cases include Dr. Siranush Cholakian and real estate developer Shlomo Ruben. 

Three other New Yorkers have contacted Black Star News and two say he’s also used the threat of Rikers Island lockup. 

Mbaye’s ex-wife filed for divorce on Aug. 31, 2018. At the time the couple’s three children were aged 14, seven, and four. 

Mbaye had received $525,000—after taxes—for a car accident settlement in 2009. By the time the couple appeared before Judge Viscovich the balance remaining in a Chase Bank brokerage account was $276,000.

Mbaye claims his wife, whose salary exceeded his by about $20,000 according to court records, wanted 50% of the settlement money. However, Judge Viscovich agreed with Mbaye that under New York law the money was solely his. 

Judge Viscovitch also conceded that Mbaye was a good parent. “At that time, I was working from home and basically taking care the kids,” Mbaye said. “I made breakfast, took them to school in the morning, picked them up after school and helped with homework and made dinner, while maintaining a full-time job.”

However, AFC Worms turned the judge against him, Mbaye said. 

After Mbaye called to make arrangements for a court-order that he take the children for a visit with Worms, the AFC’s assistant called and left a voicemail asking him not to come. She claimed Ms. Mbaye had already taken the children for the meeting. “This was a lie,” Mbaye said. He believes Worms wanted him to miss the appointment so he could report him as a no-show and ask Judge Viscovich to sanction him. Black Star News listened to the audio recording.

After Judge Viscovich let Ms. Mbaye and her attorney Timothy Horgan repeatedly bring up the issue of the money in his brokerage account—even though he’d already agreed it wasn’t part of marital assets—Mbaye said he went to the FBI’s New York Division office in Kew Gardens, New York on June 10, 2019. “I told the FBI the whole case could be a scam and that their intention is to take the car accident settlement money away,” Mbaye told Black Star News.

A spokesperson for the FBI’s New York City office didn’t return a voicemail message seeking comment. 

Ms. Mbaye, who now goes by her maiden name, didn’t return an e-mail message seeking comment. Horgan, her former attorney, also didn’t respond to an e-mail message. 

On Aug. 27, 2019, Judge Viscovich told the parties that whomever voluntarily agreed to move out of the marital apartment would earn credits later when the divorce was finalized. Both Mbaye and Ms. Mbaye declined. Instead, Ms. Mbaye and her attorney asked Judge Viscovich to issue and order removing Mbaye from the apartment, he said.

After the hearing Mbaye said he ran into Worms outside the court and told him about his visit with the FBI. 

This was a turning point and Mbaye began to experience the wrath of Viscovich, he said. At the next court hearing on Oct. 30, 2019, the parties were whisked into Judge Viscovich’s chambers. Worms joined the meeting by phone, Mbaye said.

“Judge Viscovich was yelling at me and he asked me at least 10 times if I went to the FBI and I told him ‘yes,’” Mbaye recalled. “He said ‘why did you go to the FBI?’ I told him the reason I went there is what I already told Terrence Worms.”  

Viscovich also called a court officer who stood behind Mbaye who sat facing the judge. Occasionally, the officer would yell, “You need to answer the judge! You need to answer the judge!” Mbaye said. 

“I could not believe that I was in front of an American judge. I don’t know if they even do this sort of thing in Africa,” Mbaye, who is originally from Senegal, said. The session, which Mbaye characterizes as “interrogation” lasted for about an hour. 

Worms, who remained on the phone, told Judge Viscovich that Mbaye had told him that he’d reported to the FBI that he suspected that Ms. Mbaye was engaged in sex trafficking. “I never told him that,” Mbaye said.

This allegation by Worms late became the basis for Judge Viscovich ousting Mbaye from the apartment, he said. 

Viscovich gave Mbaye a deadline of Nov. 14, 2019 to provide a detailed account of what he’d told the FBI.

An ACS investigator was also sent to the Mbaye residence and the couple was interviewed separately. 

Mbaye paid another visit to update the two agents he’d met with. “Judge Viscovich asked me to provide proof about going to the FBI,” at the Nov. 14 hearing, Mbaye said. “I told him ‘I do not see any correlation between me going to the FBI and this case as they are two different entities.’”  

Judge Viscovich then told Ms. Mbaye’s lawyer, Horgan, to submit an emergency order to show cause asking for the removal of Mbaye from the marital apartment and for full custody of the children to the mother, which he said he’d sign, Mbaye said. 

Judge Viscovich wasn’t in court on the return date of Nov. 22, 2019, Mbaye said. The emergency order to show cause was heard by Judge Janice A. Taylor, another State Supreme Court judge, Queens county. “I laid everything out on the table,” Mbaye said, referring to what he told Judge Taylor. “From the closed-door meetings to the possibility about this case being a scam.” Judge Taylor denied the motion.

However, on a subsequent Jan. 15, 2020 court date Judge Viscovich did sign an order removing Mbaye from the marital apartment and granting the couple temporary joint legal custody. The judge ruled that Mbaye could pick up the children and take them to school from Mondays through Thursdays. He could also pick them from school and remain with them in the apartment until Ms. Mbaye returned from work. He was also allowed parenting time on Sundays from 9am to 7pm and he was ordered to pay $1,550 in monthly child support. 

“This was retaliation for my reporting to the FBI,” Mbaye said. 

The case went to trial from Jan. 12 through Jan. 14, 2021 and Ms. Mbaye was awarded full legal custody of the couple’s three children.

An “Amended Decision and Order After Trial” signed by Judge Viscovich on August 2, 2021, in reference to Mbaye’s accident settlement money in the Chase brokerage account states “the damages award given to defendant in 2009 in full settlement of his liability claim is separate property not subject to equitable distribution” and the order also reads “the money damages awarded to defendant for personal injuries are the sole property of defendant.” The couple’s divorce was finalized on March 16, 2022 court papers show. 

Yet, almost three years since the Aug. 2, 2021 Viscovich order, Chase Bank continues to deny him access to his money, funds that he could have invested and grown, Mbaye said. He says the bank also allowed New York City Office of Child Support Services to wrongfully garnish $30,000 from the brokerage account in unpaid child support. “I hope this is not a scheme to siphon my money,” he said. 

“Not being able to access my money has put me in financial crisis,” Mbaye said. “I have three cards in collection, I have two cards over the limit and behind payment, since 2020 I have withdrawn all my retirement and I’m behind rent and facing eviction, I can’t open 529 college savings plans for my kids and my credit is terrible.” 

“We cannot comment on clients,” a Chase spokesperson told Black Star News when contacted about Mbaye’s inability to access his funds.

The couple was back in court on May 17, 2024. The former Ms. Mbaye has filed a motion asking the court to remove restrictions that limits her and the children’s residence to Queens county. 

The case is to be heard by Supreme Court Judge Michele Titus, in Queens county. On the May 17, 2024 court date attended by this reporter, three court officers hovered close to Mbaye and eyed him warily during the proceeding before the judge’s clerk. 

Mbaye said he plans to file court papers opposing his ex-wife’s motion by the June 14, 2024, deadline.

 

If you’ve been the victim of perceived biased rulings by a judge and have detailed documentation please reach the author via [email protected] 

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