A Westhampton woman pleaded guilty to two felony charges on Monday for her role in an $82 million mortgage fraud scheme perpetrated by her husband, along with former Suffolk County Legislator George O. Guldi.
Carrie Coakley pleaded guilty in Suffolk County Court to grand larceny and fraud in exchange for a sentence of six months in jail or, possibly, only community service.
Ms. Coakley’s husband, former Magic’s Pub owner Donald MacPherson, pleaded guilty last month to 45 felonies and will be sentenced one week before his wife.
Their co-defendant, Mr. Guldi, who served as a Suffolk County legislator from 1992 to 2004, pleaded guilty in July just as his trial in the fraud case was set to begin. As part of the deal that Mr. Guldi, who served as his own attorney, brokered with Judge James F.X. Doyle, he received a sentence of just one to three years, running concurrently with a four- to 12-year sentence he was already serving after being found guilty in March of insurance fraud and grand larceny, charges that stemmed from his misuse of insurance funds after his Westhampton Beach house burned down in 2008.
Ms. Coakley will be sentenced by Judge Doyle on January 30. According to Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s office, Judge Doyle said at the time of Ms. Coakley’s plea on Monday that she will receive a sentence of six months in jail or 840 hours of community service.
Mr. MacPherson is to be sentenced on January 25. Judge Doyle has said his plea will land him four to 12 years in prison.
The mortgage scheme revolved around the use of “straw purchasers,” individuals who filed bogus loan applications, and creating fake title reports aimed at concealing outstanding mortgages on a property to make it appear as though it was owned outright, a tactic known as “mortgage stacking.” The defendants, prosecutors said at the time of the 2009 arrests, used the money to purchase additional properties and expand the scheme or simply pocketed it.