Tag Archive | "Dustin Dente"

Morpurgo House May be Back on the Block

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It appears the saga that is the Morpurgo house on Union Street, Sag Harbor continues, although this time the two sisters at the heart of the lore surrounding the historic structure are not a part of the most recent dispute regarding the residence. Rather, lenders for the couple who initially purchased the property are attempting to foreclose on the parcel and possibly develop it themselves after alleging they did not receive payments of interest on their loan for over six months.

In October of 2007, after years of court battles and two previous, unsuccessful court-ordered public auctions, the Union Street residence was sold at auction for $1,460,000 to a man named Brandon and a woman named Tina, who later purchased the home under the limited liability corporation Captain Hulbert House. The house had been at the center of a dispute between sisters Annselm and Helga Morpurgo, who battled in court over the ownership and sale of the residence.

According to their attorney at the time of the auction, Dustin J. Dente, the couple planned to lovingly restore the historic structure and was considering what their options would be under the existing certificate of occupancy at the Union Street residence, which showed eight apartments original to the home. Last year, after some legal wrangling to get Annselm and two women staying at the home off the premises, attorney George Guldi, acting on behalf of the owners, inspected the inside of the residence, which appeared to be without plumbing and was filled with debris and garbage, to assess its structural integrity in hopes of getting a project off the ground.

According to Hempstead attorney Samuel Glass, who is currently listed in Southampton Town records under the Captain Hulbert House LLC contact information, he and a group of lenders loaned Brandon Lisi and Tina Nannis the money to purchase the property and complete renovations. According to Glass, the property is presently in foreclosure as he and his group of lenders were not paid interest on their loan for over six months.

The lenders are now interested in seeing what can be done with the property, or selling it, according to Glass.

 “We probably would like to sit down with the building department and iron out what we can do with the property,” said Glass on Tuesday. “Then we will either build on it or sell it.”

Both attorneys formerly involved in the property, Dente and Guldi, are now defendants in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud case – with Guldi facing three counts of first-degree larceny and a first-degree count of scheming to defraud, and Dente charged with first degree grand larceny. They are two of five defendants who Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota have charged in connection with fraudulently obtaining more than $50 million in mortgages from various lenders.

When asked whether this house could be a part of the alleged fraud scheme, Glass said authorities were investigating the matter, but for now, the lenders were focusing on what is possible at the Union Street residence.

 “It is a nice location in the village,” noted Glass.

In the meantime, the residence’s previous owner, Annselm, continues to pursue a civil rights case against her sister, Sag Harbor Village officials and police, as well as the county, Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library, the private Future Fund and a number of John Does yet to be named. The case was previously dismissed, but Annselm recently won an appeal to have it heard again, with United States Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor one of a three-judge panel that granted the motion.

Guldi Among Five Arrested for Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud

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A former Suffolk County legislator was among five suspects arrested Wednesday on grand larceny charges by fraudulently obtaining more than $50 million dollars in mortgages on dozens of homes in Southampton Town, including several a few miles from Sag Harbor in and around Noyac and Water Mill. 

In a second scheme, an East Islip man and a Farmingville suspect are charged with attempted mortgage fraud for filing bogus paperwork to attain mortgages for homes in Deer Park, Amityville, Jamaica, Queens and Brooklyn.

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.  

Arraigned Wednesday in Southampton Justice Court on three counts of first degree grand larceny and first degree scheme to defraud are former Suffolk County Legislator George O. Guldi of 44 Brushy Neck Lane Westhampton Beach and Ethan E. Ellner, 54 Sagamore Drive Plainview. 

Guldi, 55, an attorney who served two terms in the county legislature, and Ellner, 49, 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, said the district attorney in a press release Wednesday.

Codefendants Donald C. MacPherson, 65, and Carrie Coakley of New York and Dustin J. Dente of Roslyn pled not guilty at their arraignments today 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. 

 “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 in 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, said Spota, 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 Wednesday 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 in 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 McPherson’s publication, The Soho Journal, said the district attorney, who added publication also promoted Hamptons rental properties fraudulently purchased and used as summer rentals by the defendants.  Another MacPherson firm, the Hamptons Consulting Group, he said, 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, said the district attorney.

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, the district attorney said. 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 release said.

 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, claimed the release.

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. 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, the release said.

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 Wednesday for alleged mortgage fraud involving homes in western Suffolk and New York City are Ellner, Gary Small, 41, 9 Greentree Avenue in Farmingville and Victor Jinete, 34, of 35 Starlight Drive in East Islip.

Ellner, Small and Jinete pleaded not guilty in first district court in Central Islip today 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.