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Feb 27, 2012 1:54 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

MacPherson Gets 4 To 12 Years For Role In Mortgage Fraud Case

Feb 28, 2012 1:59 PM

Donald MacPherson was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison Monday morning, having pleaded guilty late last year to multiple felony charges related to an $82 million mortgage fraud scheme targeting the East End that involved former Suffolk County Legislator George O. Guldi.

Mr. MacPherson, 68, also was ordered by Suffolk County Court Judge James F.X. Doyle to pay back $44 million to the lending institutions that he cheated as part of the scam, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. Mr. MacPherson was ordered to pay back the money as part of 34 restitution judgment orders.

“J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and other lenders were swindled by this defendant and his associates who arranged for the filing of mortgage applications that were filled with fraud, specifically false employer information supplied to straw purchasers, forged notary signatures, and falsified powers of attorney and fictional bank balances,” Mr. Spota said in a prepared statement.

“Every one of these mortgages for some 60 homes ended up in default,” he continued. “The defendants’ greed inflicted massive economic damage to the banking industry and the regional economy.”

Mr. MacPherson, the former owner of Magic’s Pub in Westhampton Beach, pleaded guilty in November to 45 felonies, including grand larceny, insurance fraud, possession of a forged instrument and scheme to defraud. Over the summer, Mr. MacPherson, who has homes in both Westhampton Beach and Manhattan, rejected a plea bargain in which he would have served between 28 months and seven years in prison for his role in the crime.

Following his sentencing on Monday, Mr. MacPherson was remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside. He will eventually be transferred to a prison in upstate New York.

Mr. MacPherson’s wife, Carrie Coakley, pleaded guilty in December to two felony counts of grand larceny and fraud for her role in the scheme. She is expected to be sentenced next Thursday, March 8, pending the completion of a Suffolk County Department or Probation pre-sentencing report.

Mr. Guldi, a Democrat and longtime county legislator, was also a co-defendant in the mortgage fraud case and was sentenced to one to three years in prison last year for his role. That sentence will run concurrently with a four- to 12-year sentence he received last March for an unrelated insurance fraud case in which he was found guilty of misusing insurance funds after a fire gutted his family home in Westhampton Beach.

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Where is the money? Any restitution?
By for truth and justice (11), Westhampton on Feb 27, 12 2:27 PM
Jail is a good start for him....
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Feb 27, 12 3:04 PM
Yeah, $44,000,000... so McPherson, the only non-laywer in the bunch, gets less time than Ethan Ellner (yet to be sentenced to an agreed-upon cap of 3-9 years, Dustin Dente (the true ringleader, also facing federal charges for executing mortgage fraud in 8 states), George Guldi ( 1-3 years on 20 B felonies, 11 C felonies and an E felony, on the same transactions McPherson was convicted of, BUT his sentence runs concurrent with the 4-12 he's curently serving and he got NO restitution), and Brandon ...more
By terriscofield (5), East Yaphank on Feb 27, 12 3:09 PM
If Guldi's 1-3 years sentence runs concurrently with his 4-12-years sentence, TS, then how do you figure McPherson gets less time than Guldi?

They're both in prison for a minimum of 4 years.

Not that there's more bad guys here than are going away to jail, but I think you've let this business get to you.
By Frank Wheeler (1818), Northampton on Feb 27, 12 4:58 PM
why shouldn't "this business" get to you and to me and to any really honest person just wanting to live "the American dream"?
By summertime (589), summerfield fl on Feb 28, 12 8:17 AM
The American Dream is moving to China
By TianaBob (256), S.Jamesport on Feb 28, 12 9:32 AM
Looks like crime does pay. Easy short time and where's the money?
By brianfixhampton (2), Hampton Bays on Feb 27, 12 5:01 PM
Can someone closer explain the numbers better? Per the above it is an $82MM fraud of which $44MM must be paid back in restitution. How many homes were involved? Is the sum of the mortgages $82MM? Surely they did not qualify for multiple mortgages with no money down at all? What is the magnitude of that cash? Is there P&I insurance? Were other properties put up as collateral? Still you have to come to the table with cash.

And for the record, while the mortgages may be in default, the ...more
By Hambone (512), New York on Feb 28, 12 8:54 AM
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