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Feb 25, 2009 10:55 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Bank sues former Suffolk County Legislator George Guldi, alleges mortgage fraud

Feb 25, 2009 10:55 AM

Wachovia’s lawsuit contends that Mr. Guldi, who served in the Suffolk County Legislature from 1993 until 2003, sold the Water Mill house that belonged to his late father to Mr. Akpinar last May, though the deed was never transferred to Mr. Akpinar and, as a result, the sale was never officially closed.

Mr. Akpinar went into contract on the 1999 Deerfield Road property on February 12, 2008. The same day, Mr. Akpinar wrote a $100,000 check made out to Mr. Guldi as a down payment on the Water Mill property, the lawsuit states. It also states that Mr. Akpinar applied for the mortgage on May 5, 2008.

At the closing on May 19, 2008, Wachovia released the $1.8 million mortgage and, the complaint charges, Mr. Guldi received nearly all of the money via wire transfers in May. Over the next several months, Mr. Moran said, Mr. Akpinar did not make any payments on the mortgage and eventually defaulted on it. Wachovia alerted Mr. Akpinar that he had defaulted on the loan and, as of September 2008, owned the bank about $30,000.

Mr. Moran explained that Wachovia had entrusted the Garden City law firm of Weiss and Weiss—one of the defendants in the suit—to act as the bank’s closing agent in the sale. The lawsuit charges the firm with fraud and negligence. “They were charged with the responsibility to make sure everything was in order before they disbursed the fund,” Mr. Moran said.

The complaint states that Weiss and Weiss officials said that they outsourced the responsibilities of disbursing the mortgage to Rosedale attorney Dustin Dente, who also represented Mr. Akpinar while he was attempting to buy the Water Mill home. Wachovia would not have permitted the outsourcing to occur, the complaint states.

According to Mr. Moran, Weiss and Weiss officials stated that they were taken advantage of by Mr. Dente. The complaint charges that Mr. Dente allowed Mr. Guldi to sign both the buyer’s and seller’s documents, which is a conflict of interest.

“They either knew something was going on, or they allowed things to happen negligently,” Mr. Moran said about Weiss and Weiss. He added the company, which was on a list of attorneys approved by the bank to represent Wachovia during house closings, was also responsible for alerting Wachovia about the two pending foreclosures on the Water Mill property.

A $1.5 million mortgage obtained on the Deerfield Road home by Mr. Guldi’s late father in 2004 went into default in 2005. A second mortgage on the home totaling $300,000, and secured by Mr. Guldi’s late father, went into default sometime the same year, according to the complaint.

Besides Mr. Guldi, Mr. Akpinar, and Weiss and Weiss, there are a number of other defendants listed in the lawsuit. The Offices of Ellner and Bedell, a title agency in Ronkonkoma, Mr. Dente, the attorney from Rosedale, and Yolanda Barbaccia, a real estate agent in Howard Beach, are named as well.

Ellner and Bedell played a role in the wire transfers to Mr. Guldi, and Ms. Barbaccia participated in the closing on the home, according to Mr. Moran. Ms. Barbaccia told the Nassau County Police Department that she was paid an unknown amount of money to attend the closing, the complaint states.

Ms. Barbaccia did not return calls and the published phone number for the Offices of Ellner and Bedell is now disconnected.

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Yikes! I'll bake a cake with a file in it!
By BIGjimbo12 (201), East Quogue on Feb 21, 09 6:28 PM
"It's about time." What goes around comes around.
Clorac (East Quogue)
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 21, 09 6:44 PM
Please stop picking on George
By eastquogueguy (22), East Quogue on Feb 21, 09 11:14 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By eastquogueguy (22), East Quogue on Feb 21, 09 11:14 PM
This is really bizarre. I dont think that 2027 could ever had been worth $3.5. Something is fishy here. Wachovia should look into the whole deal. I wonder who the loan officer/ mortgage broker is and appraiser? It takes more than one to tango. As time goes on I bet there will be more stories like this on the East End as the market winds down.
By North Sea Citizen (554), North Sea on Feb 22, 09 7:12 AM
Look around Mr DA - there was plenty of this - and look in some of the lower valued areas of the Town - This practice was going on for a long time and there are a number of prominent names involved.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Feb 22, 09 11:06 AM
Not only prominent names. This is one of the reasons all the honest people are broke. Every time I hear of another one finally caught I get angry and think of all the others still out there.
By local (106), north sea on Feb 22, 09 11:14 AM
" Carol " Would you please explain your comment ?
By PrivateerMatt (390), Weesuck Creek , EQ on Feb 22, 09 3:08 PM
My comment leaves many areas for many to think about.

clorac (East Quogue)
By Carol (109), East Quogue on Feb 22, 09 7:23 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Frank Wheeler (1816), Northampton on Feb 23, 09 1:39 AM
I have known George for a long time. I have never had reason to believe he would involve himself in anything dishonorable. Let's say we give him the benefit of his Constitutional rights. He is Innocent until proven guilty.

While our beloved country weathers these difficult times, we must, at all costs, maintain the integrity of the Courts, and allow our judicial system to sort out the facts. The Banks are in all of these deals up to their necks and couldn't cash the checks fast enough ...more
By Mashed Potatos (4), Belleair Bluffs on Feb 24, 09 12:00 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By peasonearth (1), Water Mill on Feb 28, 09 10:36 PM
Carol is so right. What goes around comes around. George Guldi has continuously been involved in questionable deals.
By peasonearth (1), Water Mill on Mar 27, 09 6:11 PM
Why investigation and lawsuit always occurs after they are not in position?If the problem existed, why they can't take effective measure to solve it?
By Settlement Loan (1), dgegeg on Aug 25, 10 5:16 AM
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