Take My House, Take My Car, But Don't Let The Man Take My Bike
The Man? Oh Yeah, I Am The Man…
A federal judge caught with his hand in the cookie jar, former state Superior Court Judge Michael T. Joyce, will lose his Millcreek Township home – but perhaps worse news; his 2003 Harley Davidson motorcycle – after being convicted on two counts of mail fraud and six counts of money laundering back in 2008.
It seems a jury of his peers convicted Joyce of defrauding Erie Insurance Group of $390,000 – and State Farm Insurance of $50,000 – as a result of claims the judge filed over a 2001 auto accident.
He’s also going to do a little stretch in the Big House rooming with some former ‘clients.’ A federal judge sentenced Joyce to serve nearly four years in federal prison.
Joyce of Erie, PA, was charged with nine counts of mail fraud and money laundering for making “numerous false representations” over the two insurance claims.
Mary Beth Buchanan, U.S. Attorney, said Joyce was a party in a low-speed accident back in August 2001 where neither the police or medical technicians were called to the scene. Joyce claimed, in his filings against the two insurance companies, that injuries effected his professional and personal life and made it impossible for him to play golf, scuba dive or exercise, all while he continued (as judges are wont to) playing golf, scuba diving, rollerblading and exercising regularly at a private gym.
Among the judge’s other indiscretions were a claim that he had received the Republican endorsement and nomination for the 2002 Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He did not.
The prosecution said Joyce used the ill-gotten gains from the false insurance claims to purchase real estate, an interest in an airplane and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Joyce once served as a presidential law clerk to former President Gerald R. Ford back in 1975 and joined the state Superior Court as an appellate judge in 1998.