You see, here’s the thing. In the time of Trump, the swamp is deeper and more operational than ever.
Friars Club chief Michael Gyure, who pleaded guilty to tax fraud, was sentenced today to time served. Witnesses testified at his sentencing hearing about what a bad guy he is. One witness told Judge Naomi Buchwald that Gyure already had a party planned to celebrate his light, nay almost non existent, sentence.
The judge didn’t care. She apparently had already decided that crimes committed by or around the Friars Club should stay in the Friars Club. Why should she hold Gyure to the letter of the if the Friars didn’t care enough to throw him out?
Gyure was sentenced to one year of supervised release. That’s it. Judge Buchwald said she thought the problems in the club should be taken up as a civil case.
No one seems to care that the Friars have wasted or lost millions of dollars under Gyure’s administration. The Friars have not filed a tax return since 2015. There’s no transparency. Most of the celebrity members are long gone, as well as high profile media types who sniffed a rat a long time ago. The reputation of the Friars Club, once held high in esteem by the likes Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Alan King, and Freddie Roman, is in tatters.
The club itself, on East 55th St., is closed for renovations this summer. I began my reporting on the criminal chaos at the Friars several years ago.
In the last year, the club has had to settle a million dollar lawsuit brought by its former receptionist against member and celebrity wrangler Bruce Charet, who is supported by Gyure (ironically pronounced “jury”) and vice versa.
What’s pretty clear is that the Friars Club as a place for actual celebs is over. Billy Crystal, who was honored earlier this year, has told friends he regretted accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award — especially when he realized the other honoree was an ex con and (presumably) former mob associate.
Coincidentally, Judge Buchwald is married to a man named Don Buchwald, but it’s not the same Don Buchwald who is Howard Stern’s long time agent and a former Friars members. The judge is 75 and sounds like she may be ready for assisted living.