Appellate Division First Department Affirms Surrogate’s Court Decision in Favor of BPS Clients and Rejects Estate Executor's Claim of Undue Influence as to Turnover of the Renowned “Pyramid of Hope” and “Butterfly of Peace” Diamond Collections

April 2014

On April 1, 2014, the Appellate Division, First Department unanimously affirmed a Bronx County Surrogate’s Court decision dismissing the claims against Bleakley Platt & Schmidt’s clients, Alan Bronstein and Aurora Gems, Inc. David Gould, the Executor of Harry Rodman’s Estate, sought to set aside Rodman’s transfer of his fifty percent interest in Aurora Gems, Inc., to his stepson, Alan Bronstein; Aurora Gems, Inc. is the owner of the renowned "Pyramid of Hope" and "Butterfly of Peace" colored diamond collections. Currently the "Pyramid of Hope" collection is on display at London Natural History Museum and the "Butterfly of Peace" collection is exhibited at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The Court rejected the Executor’s claim that Mr. Bronstein engaged in fraud and overreaching noting that Mr. Rodman was of sound mental health and had a close family relationship with Mr. Bronstein and such relation negated any inference of undue influence.

Vincent W. Crowe, a member of Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP since 1985, tried the case and argued the appeal on behalf of Alan Bronstein and Aurora Gems, Inc.  Click here for the full Appellate Court Decision and  Click here for trial court decision.