Joe Mastropole, Joe Giudice’s ex-business partner was back in court this month. This time pursuing civil damages against the attorney who represented Joe Giudice in the fraudulent mortgage transaction that resulted in Joe Giudice forging Mastropole’s signature.
Giudice forged Mastropole’s name on mortgage documents for an investment property the two owned jointly in New Jersey. In addition to forging Mastropole’s signature, Giudice also stole the notary stamp of his previous assistant and used it to notarize mortgage documents in order to acquire bank loans and pocket the profits. Mastropole filed a civil suit against Giudice and in October 2009, won a judgement of $260,000.
Then Teresa and Joe filed bankruptcy, giving them immediate protection from all their creditors. Mastropole in response filed an adversary action to block the discharge of the debt owed to him.
In 2011, Bankruptcy Judge Morris Stern, presided over the case and ruled in Mastropole’s favor. He upheld the original judgement and ordered the nefarious couple to pay back the money despite their claim of bankruptcy protection.
Judge Stern was
“The signing of Mastropole name was a forgery… exhibiting willfulness and malice toward a former friend and current adversar. The extraordinary web of lies and misrepresentations woven by Giudice to implement and cover his misconduct reflects on his approach to business matters and suggest his disregard for legal restraints which would bind others.”
Judge Stern also noted that Joe Giudice’s attorney, John Testa “seems to have missed the connection between the June 2007 settlement and the property which was the subject of the December transaction.”
It’s been a long road for Joe Mastropole and his legal wranglings with the Giudice’s. His malpractice suit against John Testa (Joe Giudice’s former lawyer) was finally heard by Superior Court Judge Robert Polifroni and on Tuesday, April 22, Judge Polifroni rendered a decision in the case. Mastropole’s claims against John Testa and and his firm, Mizzone & Testa were dismissed. The Judge cited that Mr. Testa was not aware of any wrongdoing and therefore had no affirmative duty to Joe Giudice, who was not his client.
In addition, the Bergen County judge also dismissed a few claims made against Teresa Giudice while dismissing some but not all against Joe Giudice.
This was a blow for Mastropole but he’s not out of the fight yet.
His attorney, Fanwood William Michelson, says his client will likely appeal the Testa judgement.
In an unrelated fraud case, both Joe and Teresa Giudice were convicted of felony fraud charges on March 4th. The couple is awaiting sentencing on July 8th.