John C. McBride, 66, Boston, Massachusetts, who was disbarred in 2007 after practicing law for more than three decades, was sentenced to federal prison for tax and bank fraud violations. His crimes arose in connection with recording fraudulent tax and bank releases on his seaside Marblehead, Massachusetts home and his vacation home in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. Both properties were later foreclosed on.
The defendant was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release, and restitution to be determined at a later date. In January 2015, McBride pleaded guilty before U.S. District Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to bank fraud and endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administrations of the Internal Revenue laws.
In early 2008, McBride, a now-disbarred criminal defense lawyer, recorded six fraudulent federal tax lien releases against his Marblehead home, in order to obtain a $288,000 loan secured by that property and deprive the IRS of its nearly $700,000 secured interest. McBride prepared the releases himself, without the knowledge or authorization of the IRS, and forged the signatures of IRS officials on them. In March 2008, McBride attempted, unsuccessfully, to record two similar fraudulent tax lien releases against a second home he owned in Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard.
In 2011, McBride attempted to obtain a $387,000 reverse mortgage loan from Bank of America, which was to have been secured by his Edgartown property. In connection with that loan application, McBride falsely told the bank that there were no liens on the Edgartown property and that he was not then in bankruptcy. In fact, there were substantial liens on the property and McBride’s bankruptcy case, which he had filed in 2009, was still ongoing.
In furtherance of his effort to obtain the bank loan, McBride prepared and recorded a fraudulent and unauthorized discharge of mortgage which purported to discharge a more than $700,000 existing mortgage on his Edgartown property. Bank of America discovered that the discharge was fraudulent before the loan closed, and no funds were disbursed to McBride.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Robert E. O’Malley, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Office of Investigations, New York Field Office (TIGTA); Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent Charge of Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.