Jury seated in in­sur­ance fraud case of den­tist who was ac­quit­ted of mur­der

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­ ArielAtFree­man on Twit­ter

A jury will be­gin hear­ing tes­ti­mony to­day in the theft and fraud case against Dr. Gil­berto Nunez, a Kingston den­tist ac­quit­ted of mur­der in June but still fac­ing charges in an un­re­lated mat­ter for al­legedly steal­ing in­sur­ance money fol­low­ing a fire at a build­ing he owned.

The jury of seven women and five men was cho­sen Mon­day fol­low­ing a day­long pro­ceed­ing in Ul­ster County Court. Two al­ter­nates, a man and woman, also were se­lected.

Ul­ster County Judge Don­ald A. Wil­liams said he an­tic­i­pates the at­tor­neys in the case will fin­ish with their wit­nesses by Fri­day, al­low­ing the jury to pos­si­bly be­gin de­lib­er­at­ing that day.

Nunez has not been charged with start­ing the fire that de­stroyed the build­ing at 381 Wash­ing­ton Ave. in Up­town Kingston, next to his den­tal of-

fice, but has been charged with felony counts of fal­si­fy­ing busi­ness records, grand lar­ceny and in­sur­ance fraud in con­nec­tion with an al­legedly fraud­u­lent $8,400 in­sur­ance claim he filed as a re­sult of the blaze.

Pros­e­cu­tors claim Nunez filed fraud­u­lent in­sur­ance claims fol­low­ing the Feb. 20, 2014, fire. His at­tor­neys say their client did noth­ing wrong and that the amount cited in the

in­dict­ment rep­re­sents a tiny frac­tion of an oth­er­wise undis­puted claim for the build­ing.

An in­dict­ment by an Ul­ster County grand jury al­leges Nunez stole $8,400 from the Pre­ferred Mu­tual In­sur­ance Co. on June 6, 2014 and com­mit­ted a fraud­u­lent in­sur­ance act be­tween Feb. 21 and June 6 of that year. The in­dict­ment also al­leges that Nunez fal­si­fied busi­ness records on five oc­ca­sions be­tween Feb. 21 and May 28, 2014, with the in­tent to de­fraud, or to con­ceal a crime.

Dur­ing jury se­lec­tion, Orange County Se­nior As­sis­tant Dis­trict At­tor­ney Maryellen Al­banese, the spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor in the case, ques­tioned po­ten­tial ju­rors about whether they could pay at­ten­tion dur­ing a case that would in­volve a lot of num­bers and doc­u­ments. She said the case would be a “pa­per” one and could be te­dious.

“This case is a lit­tle bit dry,” she said.

Al­banese also ques­tioned whether the ju­rors could fairly judge the cred­i­bil­ity of a wit­ness who might have a crim­i­nal record

or whether they had an is­sue with the fact the vic­tim in the case is an in­sur­ance com­pany.

De­fense at­tor­ney Evan Lip­ton asked whether any of the po­ten­tial ju­rors would have an is­sue with the de­fense of­fer­ing no proof dur­ing the trial.

On June 14, Nunez was ac­quit­ted of mur­der­ing his for­mer lover’s hus­band, Thomas Kol­man, in Novem­ber 2011. Nunez was, how­ever, found guilty of two felony counts of pos­ses­sion of a forged in­stru­ment for hav­ing a fake CIA iden­ti­fi­ca­tion card on

his com­puter and for giv­ing his for­mer lover a let­ter pur­port­ing to be from a CIA agent.

Kol­man, 44, whose wife Linda was hav­ing an af­fair with Nunez, was found dead in his own ve­hi­cle at a shop­ping plaza in the town of Ul­ster. Pros­e­cu­tors al­leged Nunez poi­soned him with a den­tal seda­tive so he could have Mrs. Kol­man to him­self. The de­fense ar­gued Nunez and Thomas Kol­man were best friends and the den­tist had noth­ing to do with the death.

Wil­liams has said he will not sen­tence Nunez

for the forged in­stru­ment con­vic­tions un­til after the den­tist stands trial for the charges re­lated to the in­sur­ance fraud, as well as for charges of per­jury, of­fer­ing a false in­stru­ment for fil­ing and mak­ing an ap­par­ently sworn false state­ment in con­nec­tion to al­legedly fil­ing false in­for­ma­tion while ap­ply­ing for a pis­tol per­mit. Jury se­lec­tion for that trial is ex­pected to be­gin next month.

Open­ing ar­gu­ments in the in­sur­ance fraud case are to be­gin at 9:30 a.m. to­day.


Gil­berto Nunez, cen­ter, leaves the Ul­ster County Court­house in Kingston dur­ing a break in jury se­lec­tion on Mon­day. In the fore­ground is one of Nunez’s lawyers, Evan Lip­ton.

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