"Dr. Gary" Nailed

A county grand jury indicts a "mediator" who victimized vulnerable divorcées

"This is a really bad guy who uses people for their money and their emotions," Bill Ludlow says. "I know that I told [New Times] way back when that I couldn't believe that no one could or would do anything about Karpin. I'm really happy that the County Attorney's Office proved me wrong about that."

Yet another victim, Ruth Murray, composed a 14-page complaint to the State Bar last July in which she asked for a partial refund of $3,500 she'd paid Karpin to prepare her divorce papers (which she never did file).

Like Niedzwiecki, Murray had become sweet on Karpin for a time, at least until unexpected bills from the mediator started to pile up.

Last January, the mother of eight confronted Karpin at his office, just as a New Times writer was present finishing the first of two interviews with him. She again asked for a refund, reminding Karpin that he'd threatened to sue her if she persisted in nagging him for the money.

"You bet [I'll file suit]," Karpin replied to her that day. "After that [Bar] complaint that you made and the stuff you exaggerated and whatnot. The point was, I was going to wait, then get you into court, get you on cross-examination on the witness stand and cut you into little pieces, figuratively speaking."

Karpin's attorney, Michael Urbano, says, "Our argument is that [the charges against Karpin are] more closely related to a civil claim than to a criminal offense. We do anticipate going to trial, and I fully expect my client to be exonerated."

In a conversation recorded last August 30, Niedzwiecki told Karpin that "the reality is that I was scammed out of that money."

Karpin replied, "If you or anybody says that, I'll sue the shit out of them. I'll go into court with my work that I did and the result that you got, and I'll defend that until I'm dead."

Karpin was arrested on the morning of July 11 at his offices on East Shea Boulevard, and remains in custody at the Maricopa County Jail in lieu of a $250,000 cash bond. Karpin pleaded not guilty on July 18 to the charges against him.

With his recent arrest, Karpin joined his son, Gary Karpin II, in Maricopa County's sprawling jail system. Karpin II is serving a jail sentence as part of a recent plea bargain in a felony theft case. The younger Karpin and another man pleaded guilty to burgling a furniture store.

Last April 5, the elder Karpin wrote a letter on behalf of his son in which he said, "As a former prosecutor for Orleans County, Vermont, I know the damage done to people's lives by criminal acts that can affect their business, emotional state, finances and peace of mind. Both my son and I are determined to do everything in our power to right this wrong and get back on the right track."

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