A 58-year-old Aquebogue woman is facing second-degree grand larceny charges and up to 15 years in prison for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from her mother’s estate.
Under an indictment handed down by a Suffolk County grand jury in August, Carol Majeski is charged with grand larceny in the second degree in connection with her handling of the estate of Jean L. Bulak.
The indictment came a year after Majeski’s initial arrest on a warrant issued by Suffolk County Surrogate John Czygier, who had ruled Majeski in contempt of court for failing to provide a compulsory accounting of the estate’s assets. The surrogate found that Majeski failed to distribute the funds in her mother’s estate and withdrew more than $330,000 from the estate’s accounts.
Majeski entered a plea of not guilty at her arraignment last month and was released on her own recognizance.
Jean Bulak’s will, written in 1993, appointed Majeski, one of Bulak’s four children, as executor of her estate, charging her with the duty of distributing it among herself, her sister and two brothers, according to Surrogate’s Court records. Bulak died suddenly on April 1, 2009 at age 73.
Majeski, represented by the law firm of Peter Danowski in Riverhead, started the estate proceedings in Surrogate’s Court on April 7, 2009. She sold her mother’s Calverton home in June 2010 for $335,000, according to Surrogate’s Court records. Debts of the estate and expenses of sale were paid from the proceeds, a petition filed by the estate’s attorneys in March 2011 states.
The estate was ready to be distributed, but Majeski never responded to written correspondence or phone calls from her lawyers or her brothers and sister for a period of seven months, according to the petition, which sought an order removing the firm as legal counsel and granting payment of attorneys’ fees and disbursements totaling more than $9,000.
At the request of Majeski’s sister, the court ordered Majeski to file an accounting but she failed to do so. The court revoked Majeski’s appointment as executor.
Majeski did not comply with a subsequent court order to produce records concerning proceeds of the sale of her mother’s home and the distribution of various other assets of the estate, including jewelry, an automobile and various bank and stock accounts, according to Surrogate’s Court documents.
In February 2013 the surrogate ruled Majeski in contempt of court. The contempt ruling imposed a surcharge on the defendant of $332,025, representing “sums improperly distributed to herself” plus legal fees of $25,580 incurred by Edwards.
That April, the court issued a warrant for her arrest.
Majeski was taken into custody by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s office and brought before the Surrogate on Aug. 6, 2013. According to the Surrogate’s Court file, she told the court she was unable to produce missing funds or an accounting. She was remanded to the Suffolk County jail and the matter was referred to the district attorney. Majeski was ordered released two days later on the condition that she would file an accounting as required by the court’s prior order.
In September 2013, Majeski entered into a stipulation promising to repay the funds after she told the court she was trying to sell her Aquebogue home.
This summer, the district attorney presented the case to a grand jury, which handed down an indictment charging Majeski with second-degree grand larceny, a class C felony. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.
According to the district attorney’s office, Majeski is represented by Hauppauge defense attorney Jonathan Manley. Manley did not return a phone call this week seeking comment.
Majeski is next due back in Suffolk County Criminal Court on Nov. 19.
Editor’s note: A criminal charge is an accusation. By law, a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.