White-Collar Crime

Lawyer charged with witness-tampering; his counsel calls case 'a total fabrication'

A New York lawyer who practices in upscale Westchester County has been charged with bribery and witness-tampering concerning the manner in which he allegedly handled a client’s criminal cases.

During his Thursday arraignment, attorney George Galgano, 41, rolled his eyes and laughed as a prosecutor contended he had threatened in intercepted messages to shoot an assistant Putnam County district attorney and “knock off a gas station,” reports the Journal News. Neither contention is made in the indictment of Galgano, the newspaper notes.

The government sought $250,000 cash bond but the judge set bail at $100,000. By 6 p.m., Galgano had posted bond and been released.

Galgano’s arrest last month on drug charges, along with an associate at his law office, occurred after drugs allegedly were found in a raid on the law office during the investigation of the witness-tampering case.

Attorney Robert Altchiler represents Galgano. He told the Journal News that the case against Galgano and two claimed co-conspirators is “a total fabrication.”

At issue in the underlying criminal cases against Galgano’s client, restaurateur Lani “Ariano” Zaimi, 44, is whether he mistreated two waitresses. Galgano recently filed a federal lawsuit against Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy and Carmel police on Zaimi’s behalf, contending that his client’s civil rights were violated by a 2013 arrest for rape.

Altchiler said Galgano had obtained a tape that showed one of the waitresses lied and called the search of Galgano’s law office during the witness-tampering probe a pretext for obtaining that tape, along with over a dozen computers and two cellphones, the Journal News reports.

But the DA pointed the finger back at Galgano.

“I don’t blame Mr. Galgano’s lawyer for making those statements,” said Levy at a press conference following the arraignment. “If I were Mr. Galgano’s lawyer, I’d be making any statement I could to deflect the attention and focus away from my client.”

See also:

Journal News: “Mahopac’s Zaimi sues Adam Levy, Carmel cops for $130M”

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