Ex-Suffolk Legis. George Guldi guilty of conspiracy, bank fraud, feds say
Ex-Suffolk County Legis. George Guldi has been found guilty by a Manhattan jury of fleecing a mortgage lender out of more than a quarter-million dollars while incarcerated in state prison for an earlier fraud scheme, officials said.
Guldi, 69, who was originally from Westhampton Beach but now lives in Ludlow, Vermont, was convicted Wednesday after a two-week trial in federal court in Manhattan of conspiracy and bank fraud and wire fraud charges. Co-defendant Victoria Davidson, his ex-girlfriend, was also found guilty of bilking the lender.
Guldi, who remains free on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced May 30 by U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, whose office prosecuted Guldi, said he and his co-defendant participated in “shameless misconduct.”
“George Guldi, while in prison, concocted and conducted a scheme along with his co-conspirator, Victoria Davidson, to brazenly steal more than $250,000 through blatant lies,” Williams said in a statement.
Guldi’s lead defense attorney, Ian Howard Marcus Amelkin of Manhattan, said he plans to appeal.
“We are deeply disappointed and surprised by this result,” Amelkin said. “We do not understand how the jury reached this verdict beyond a reasonable doubt given the evidence presented. Mr. Guldi lacked intent to commit a crime, and we are saddened that the jury did not reach this same conclusion, which is, in fact, the truth.”
An attorney for Davidson could not be reached for comment.
Guldi, a Democat, was a legislator from 1995 to 2003.
According to federal prosecutors, in February 2017, while incarcerated in upstate Marcy Correctional Facility on insurance fraud charges, Guldi enlisted Davidson to fraudulently recover a $253,236 payment from JPMorgan Chase to Guldi’s mortgage lender, Ditech Financial LLC. Despite Ditech informing Guldi by letter that it would not credit the payment toward his personal mortgage, Davison called Ditech at least 19 times and “told multiple lies in an attempt to obtain the funds,” including claiming that she was an attorney, an officer at Guldi’s company and that Guldi had “accidentally” sent the funds to Ditech, prosecutors said.
According to recorded prison phone calls cited as evidence by federal prosecutors, Guldi and Davidson discussed their scheme.
“They can send it in a check payable to me and we’ll figure out how to get it endorsed and deposited,” said Guldi, who while giggling added, “They can send it to me here and I’ll put it in my inmate account.”
Ditech wired the funds to Davidson’s personal bank account in April 2017, according to prosecutors, and within two weeks the majority of the funds were spent. The expenses paid included $47,415 on taxes and water bills for properties in Vermont, $11,537 in child support, $1,225 in medical bills, $911 in parking tickets and multiple cashier’s checks. Davidson also spent $361 at Bliss 57 Spa and $18 at the Whitney Museum, prosecutors said.
Guldi, formerly an attorney who was disbarred, pleaded guilty in 2011 to 34 counts of grand larceny and scheme to defraud in connection with what Suffolk County prosecutors said was a more than $80 million mortgage fraud scheme, centered on the East End and in the Huntington area. He was released from prison in July 2017.
Guldi separately pleaded guilty in late 2017 on a state grand larceny charge for violating terms of a mortgage when he deposited into his private account an $873,437 insurance payment that was supposed to be used to rebuild his Westhampton Beach house that burned down, or to settle the mortgage.