Arrests Made in Multimillion Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme

admin —  April 17, 2009 — Leave a comment

George O. Guldi, 55, Westhampton Beach, New York, an attorney and former Suffolk County Legislator, and Ethan E. Ellner, 49, Plainview, New York, an attorney and operator of Suburban Abstract, a title company in Stony Brook, allegedly defrauded lending institutions of millions of dollars by using forged documents, false employment and income information on applications, straw buyers, false powers of attorney, deed flipping, and mortgage stacking. The two have been arraigned in Southampton Justice Court on three counts of first degree grand larceny and first degree scheme to defraud.

Codefendants Donald C. MacPherson, 65, New York, New York, Carrie Coakley, 38, New York, New York and Dustin J. Dente, Roslyn, New York, pled not guilty at their arraignments in Southampton Justice Court. MacPherson is charged with two counts of first degree grand larceny and one charge of first degree scheme to defraud. Macpherson’s wife, Carrie Coakley is charged with first degree scheme to defraud. Dente, 37, an attorney, is charged with two counts of first degree grand larceny.

District Attorney Thomas Spota said the alleged frauds employed the use of straw purchasers to victimize lenders by filing false loan applications that claimed the homebuyers were employed by various corporations owned or controlled by the scheme’s participants. Another scheme, alleged to have been used to secure money, District Attorney Spota said, involved “mortgage stacking”; the creation of bogus title reports that concealed outstanding mortgages on properties and showed the homes to be owned “free and clear” and unencumbered by existing liens.

The damage these defendants single-handedly caused to our local economy is simply appalling,” Spota said. The district attorney said the defendants engaged in “a seven-year mortgage fraud spree” involving dozens of several east end homes, including a house at 1106 North Sea Road, Southampton, and two Water Mill homes at 982 Noyac Path and 2027 Deerfield Road.

The alleged scheme to defraud involved three basic forms of fraud:

Use of “straw buyers”:

Evidence gathered during the course of the investigation found the defendants used straw buyers (or as they called them “investors”) with fictitious employment and income information for use on mortgage applications to make the mortgage applicants appear far wealthier and thusly, a much lower risk for lenders.

Specifically straw buyers in the scheme charged today were falsely listed as having incomes as high as $45,000 per month as employees of companies the defendants owned.

One of these companies was Arena Studios, Inc. located at 407 Broome Street, Manhattan; a business that at one time provided dominatrix services. This club was also used by the defendants to successfully solicit straw buyers.

Another source of straw buyers for the scheme to defraud was Maximum Restraint Films and defendant McPherson’s publication, The Soho Journal. The Soho Journal publication also promoted Hamptons rental properties fraudulently purchased and used as summer rentals by the defendants. Another MacPherson firm, the Hamptons Consulting Group, was used as the employer for a straw buyer to falsely report an annual salary of $325,000 per year on a mortgage application.

Fraud by Mortgage Stacking and Title Washing:

Mortgage stacking involves the acquisition of a second and in some cases a third mortgage on a house through the use of a bogus title report that falsely reports to the lending institution that no first mortgage exists on the property.

A 2004 mortgage disappeared from the title history of 982 Noyac Path, Water Mill facilitating a fraud in which the name and credit of a person was used to purchase and obtain a first and second mortgage on the property totaling approximately $1.7million dollars.

The mortgage applicant, on paper, was fraudulently portrayed to have been employed at the SoHo Journal for 10 years as the Director of Sales earning $36,000 a month. In truth, the applicant was not an employee of the publication and had no knowledge that their name and credit was being used to purchase and mortgage a house in the Hamptons. In 2007, the house went into foreclosure

While in foreclosure, a straw buyer purportedly employed by Maximum Restraint Films with a monthly income of $45,000 was used in January 2008 to purchase and mortgage the Noyac Path property for another $2 million. The Noyac Path title report was again altered to falsely report to the lender that the first and second mortgage, totaling $1.5 million (and pending in foreclosure), had been satisfied.

The mortgage stacking fraud and a straw buyer were also used by some of the defendants to illicitly obtain a loan for a house at 1106 North Sea Road, Water Mill. The investigation established the title report falsely cleared an original $1.25 million dollar mortgage after a new $1.8 million dollar mortgage was obtained. The evidence found the proceeds of the new mortgage flowed into the accounts of defendants Ellner, Guldi and Dente.

A home at 2027 Deerfield Road in Water Mill, originally titled to Walter Guldi, the father of defendant George Guldi, with an outstanding mortgage of approximately $1.5 million dollars went into foreclosure in 2005. Defendant George Guldi acted as the attorney representing the estate in the foreclosure action. In May 2008, the defendants are alleged to have washed the title of 2027 Deerfield Path of the original mortgage to receive a new $1.8 million dollar mortgage obtained in the name of a straw purchaser. Proceeds of the stacked mortgage flowed into accounts controlled by Defendants Ellner, Guldi and Dente.

All three houses are or have been in foreclosure.

We found the defendants repeatedly ignored the obligation to pay off existing mortgages and instead funneled the money into their personal accounts to finance their businesses and lifestyles,” District Attorney Spota noted.

Arrested by Mortgage Fraud Unit detective investigators for an alleged mortgage fraud involving homes in western Suffolk and New York City are Ellner, Gary Small, 41, Farmingville, New York, and Victor Jinete, 34, East Islip, New York.

Ellner, Small and Jinete pleaded not guilty in first district court in Central Islip on four charges of Attempted Mortgage Fraud second degree. Jinete also pleaded not guilty to one count of first degree scheme to defraud. The alleged schemes involve the use of straw buyers and title washing resulting in fraudulent mortgages being issued by duped lenders for properties at 64 Duke Street, Deer Park, 130-25 Inwood Street, Jamaica, 891 Glenmore Avenue, Brooklyn NY and 40 Darerka Street, Amityville.

District Attorney Spota formed a Mortgage Fraud Unit in June 2008 in the Economic Crime Bureau assigning three ADA’s, two Detective Investigators, two NY State Police investigators and a forensic auditor to the investigation and prosecution of mortgage fraud. To date the unit has been responsible for 34 arrests.

 

Defendant list w/charges and bail information

George O. Guldi, DOB 7/11/1953 residence: 44 Brushy Neck Lane, Westhampton Beach, NY

Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 1106 North Sea Road, Southampton
Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 982 Noyac Path, Southampton
Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 2027 Deerfield Road, Watermill
Scheme to Defraud 1st – Bail $20,000 cash

Donald C. Macpherson, DOB 10/10/1943 residence: 80 Varick Street, New York, NY

Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 1106 North Sea Road, Southampton
Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 982 Noyac Path, Southampton
Scheme to Defraud 1st Bail $25,000 cash

Carrie Coakley residence: DOB 3/28/1970 residence: 80 Varick Street, New York, NY
Scheme to Defraud 1st Bail $25,000

Ethan E. Ellner, DOB 3/21/1960 residence: 4 Sagamore Drive, Plainview, NY

Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 1106 North Sea Road, Southampton
Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 982 Noyac Path, Southampton
Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 2027 Deerfield Road, Watermill
Scheme to Defraud 1st
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 64 Duke Street, Deer Park NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 130-25 Inwood Street, Jamaica NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 891 Glenmore Avenue, Brooklyn NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 40 Darerka Street, Amityville NY
Bail $25,000 cash

Dustin J. Dente, DOB 7/06/1971 residence: 7 Fox Hill Road, Roslyn

Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 982 Noyac Path, Southampton
Grand Larceny 1st as to mortgage fraud – 2027 Deerfield Road, Watermill
Bail $10,000 cash

Gary Small, DOB 11/04/1967 residence: 9 Greentree Avenue, Farmingville, NY

Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 64 Duke Street, Deer Park NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 130-25 Inwood Street, Jamaica NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 891 Glenmore Avenue, Brooklyn NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 40 Darerka Street, Amityville NY
Scheme to Defraud 1st Bail Set: $50,000.00 cash/$150,000.00 bond

Victor Jinete, DOB 12/16/1974 residence: 35 Starlight Drive, East Islip NY

Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 64 Duke Street, Deer Park NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 130-25 Inwood Street, Jamaica NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 891 Glenmore Avenue, Brooklyn NY
Attempted Mortgage Fraud 2nd – 40 Darerka Street, Amityville NY
Bail Set: $25,000 cash/$50,000 bond

Be Sociable, Share!

admin

Posts Google+

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML.

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

*