Supreme Court Appellate Division Affirms Power of Supreme Court over Seized Funds. Kessler International's forensic accounting services have to be paid.


New York, New York (Law Firm Newswire) July 11, 2011 - In a victory for defense experts, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division yesterday upheld a lower court’s ruling that seized funds could be used to pay Michael G Kessler of Kessler International for computer forensic and forensic accounting services. http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2011/2011_05879.htm

The Appellate Division ruled that the lower court had jurisdiction to decide the issue regarding the release of seized funds and that the record belies NYPD's argument that it was not afforded a full and fair opportunity to be heard before the court . The Judges further ruled that under the circumstances presented, the court properly exercised its equitable powers to order the release of the funds to pay attorneys' and experts' fees and considered NYPD's remaining arguments and found them unavailing. Michael Kessler stated “ Yesterday’s decision is a step in the right direction in ensuring that citizens can use their own funds to adequately defend themselves against the government.”

Case Background

Michael G Kessler of Kessler International was not a defendant in the case. He had no connection with the defendants, Louis and Betty Posner. He was a forensic accountant to whom the Supreme Court promised payment for his services to defense counsel. On October 1, 2009 - before Michael G. Kessler agreed to provide his services - Justice Michael Obus ruled that Kessler's fees were to be paid out of funds which had been seized from the defendants pursuant to search warrants issued by the court. The seized funds, which had been divided into two roughly equal portions, were being held by the New York County District Attorney and the New York City Police Department. Justice Obus stated that he would review each of the invoices of Kessler International before he approved payment out of the seized funds.

On February 18 and April 13, 2010, Justice Obus entered orders directing the NYPD to release $17,149.50 and $30,853.50 respectively to pay Michael G. Kessler of Kessler International sums "owed [to him] for work performed on behalf of Mr. Lou Posner.” Instead of complying with Justice Obus's payment orders, the NYPD sought by order to show cause to have them vacated. Justice Obus denied the application of the NYPD for a number of reasons but among them, the most directly relevant to Kessler was the inequity of luring the defense into trial preparation expenditures without ultimate payment. To further cloak its disobedience with a semblance of legality, the NYPD appealed the orders entered, to which it was not a party.


Michael G Kessler is currently the President and CEO of Kessler International, a global forensic accounting, computer forensics and investigative consulting firm. Mr. Kessler has been classified as an expert in the area of forensic accounting and computer forensics and has provided his expertise for many defense and plaintiff cases. Kessler International offers international corporate investigations, forensic accounting, brand protection and computer forensics. Kessler has offices worldwide and serves the corporate and legal community for 23 years. Kessler's forensic accountants, investigators and computer forensics technicians can provide the consulting, litigation support and expert testimony to solve a clients most difficult problems.

For more information on forensic accounting, computer forensics, and investment fraud, visit Kessler International's website at www.investigation.com or call (212) 286-9100 or visit our blog at http://www.thekesslernotebook.com.

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