top of page


A Mafia Con Man Weeps For His Victim

April 7, 2023

Share to:

Jimmy Sabatino, a Gambino soldier, serving 20 years in a supermax prison, expressed sympathy for stealing jewelry worth $2 million from a Manhattan jeweler.  But this Mafia con man has no sympathy for the insurers who defeated the victim’s insurance claim premised on the policy exclusion for goods delivered or entrusted to a thief.  Sabatino sought to unwind our victory in the trial court and the unanimous affirmance by the Appellate Division, First Department, by claiming that his theft involved innocent intermediaries, and thus the policy exclusion for goods delivered or entrusted to a thief should not apply.   Sabatino’s claim, expressed in a diatribe posted on the court’s docket, formed the basis for a Motion to Vacate Judge Ostrager’s award of Summary Judgment to insurers.  Although Sabatino’s claim was uncorroborated and far-fetched, Judge Ostrager decided to accept, however specious, Sabatino’s claim as true, and asked the question central to a Motion to Vacate for “newly discovered evidence;” namely, would the evidence if accepted make a difference to the outcome?  And the answer here was decidedly “No.” As Judge Ostrager put it: “Passing on the reliability of anything contained in an unverified note from Sabatino, and accepting everything in the note as true, the note does not change the fact that the allegedly innocent couriers were part of a scheme by a criminal enterprise.”

Challenges to coverage wins premised on “newly discovered evidence” are rare. But if you face such a challenge, Judge Ostrager’s road map is a useful tool.  See, <a href=""><em>Decision &amp; Order Motion to Vacate</em></a>.  If you want to learn more about Sabatino’s diabolical scheme and the law regarding the policy exclusion for Dishonest Entrustment, here are the links to the underlying decisions. <a href=""><em>Decision &amp; Order Trial Court</em></a><em> / </em><a href=""><em>Decision &amp; Order-Appellate Division, First Department</em></a>

If you have any questions, contact <a href="">Dennis M. Wade</a>.


bottom of page