Following his February conviction for grand larceny and insurance fraud, former Suffolk County Legislator George Guldi will be put on trial again in May, this time on four counts of grand larceny with codefendant Brandon Lisi, a Dix Hills attorney.
The charges relate to an alleged $82 million “mortgage stacking” scheme that authorities say Guldi was a central figure in. Mortgage stacking is the practice of fraudulently obtaining multiple mortgages on one property by concealing outstanding loans. The four counts of grand larceny were severed from a 110-count indictment dating back to 2009, which will be split into three trials, according to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office. Judge James F.X. Doyle, who oversaw Guldi’s recent insurance fraud trial, granted the district attorney’s request to split the indictment on Monday.
Two of the grand larceny counts accuse Guldi, 57, and Lisi, 37, of stealing more than $1 million in mortgage proceeds in separate fraudulent transactions involving a commercial property at 53-55 Main St in Cold Spring Harbor and a single-family residence at 6 Union St in Sag Harbor. In the Cold Spring Harbor transaction, the victim was Washington Mutual Bank, and in the Sag Harbor deal, Sam Glass Esq. and Investors was ripped off, according to the district attorney’s office.
A third count alleges Guldi stole more than $1 million from Wachovia Bank in a 2008 mortgage for a house at 2027 Deerfield Rd in Southampton. The fourth accuses Lisi of stealing more than $50,000 from JP Morgan Chase in an act of mortgage fraud involving the purchase of 33 Stuyvesant St in Huntington.
Lisi also faces federal fraud charges for an alleged scheme involving the use of “straw buyers” to attain mortgages for homes in Dix Hills, Uniondale, Manhasset and Brooklyn, according to the district attorney’s office. Straw buyers lend their identities and personal information so someone else can fraudulently obtain a mortgage.
Following the Guldi-Lisi trial, Donald MacPherson and wife Carrie Coakley, the owners of the now closed Magic’s Pub in Westhampton Beach, will go on trial with Guldi for their part in the mortgage stacking scheme, according to the district attorney’s office. Doyle granted motions Monday to consolidate charges in that case.
Former Plainview attorney Ethan Ellner pleaded guilty in December 2009 to his role in the mortgage fraud scheme. He admitted in court that he and the others accused “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,” according to the district attorney’s office.
Ellner testified against Guldi during his insurance fraud trial. Guldi was found guilty of depositing an $863,000 insurance payout into his personal bank account, instead of turning the check over to the mortgage holder of his Westhampton Beach home on Griffing Avenue that was ravaged in a fire in 2008. Doyle also ordered Guldi to pay restitution to Bank of America.
Guldi was sentenced in March to four to 12 years in prison for his February convictions.