Wife of Convicted Pennsylvania Ex-Judge Challenges Fed Forfeiture

April 8, 2009

The wife of a retired Pennsylvania Superior Court judge convicted of insurance fraud is challenging efforts by federal prosecutors to seize the judge’s home.

Prosecutors claim former Judge Michael Joyce bought the home in Millcreek Township, near Erie, using some of the $440,000 he received from two insurance companies for an August 2001 fender bender. The 60-year-old Joyce was convicted in November of mail fraud and money laundering for allegedly exaggerated neck and back injuries to make the claims.

But Joanne Joyce says her name has been on the deed since 2005 and that marital assets were used to pay the mortgage and improve the home.

If she is successful, Joanne Joyce could stop the forfeiture or, at least, receive a share of the money if the government sells the house.

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