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George Guldi, former Suffolk lawmaker, charged in federal fraud case

Former Suffolk Legis. George Guldi faces criminal charges

Former Suffolk Legis. George Guldi faces criminal charges again. Credit: James Carbone

Ex-Suffolk Legis. George Guldi, released from prison last year after serving 6 years for mortgage fraud, is facing new criminal charges because he plotted over the phone while in prison to bilk a mortgage firm, according to court records. 

Guldi and a co-defendant were in Manhattan federal court Sept. 26 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn on three counts of wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy, the records show. Prosecutors had issued an arrest warrant in federal court in Burlington, Vermont.

Guldi waived his right to a speedy trial and remained free on a $100,000 bail.

The charges, according to court papers, allege Guldi and a woman identified   as Victoria Davidson fraudulently recovered a $253,236 payment sent to an unidentified mortgage lending firm. Guldi learned of the payment when the firm notified him by letter, while he was still in the Marcy Correctional Facility upstate, that it was not enough to cover $1.2 million that was owed on his outstanding mortgage.

Despite the notification, Guldi was not involved  in sending the check, which were the proceeds of a settlement between a bank and a mortgage holder that was related to insurance fraud, one of several charges that sent Guldi to prison.  He was convicted in 2011 in an $82 million mortgage scam.

Guldi separately pleaded guilty late last year for time served on a state grand larceny charge for violating terms of a mortgage when he failed to use an $873,437 insurance payment to rebuild his Westhampton Beach house that burned down or pay off the mortgage. Instead he deposited it in a private account.

He was released from prison in July 2017.

Guldi, who served eight years as a Suffolk County legislator, from 1995 to 2003, has lived in Vermont for the past year. He declined to comment. Joseph R. DeMatteo, Davidson’s attorney, did not return calls for comment.

In court papers, federal prosecutors disclosed phone calls in 2017 recorded  by state correction officials in which Guldi discussed with Davidson how to get the bank to return the $253,000 check to her, as Guldi’s agent, instead of the bank.

“I just call them and tell them we’re in receipt of your letter…I’ll tell them where to send it,” Davidson said, according to a transcript. Guldi, responded, “They can send it in a check payable to me and we’ll figure out how to get it endorsed and deposited.” Then giggling, he added, “They can send it to me here and I’ll put it in my inmate account.”

Guldi also claimed at one point, according to the transcript, “This money is mine,” and the bank's transfer of funds was “entirely illegal” without a court order in light of a pending appeal over the funds.

The court papers also include transcripts of bank recordings where Davidson told the mortgage firm of the letter which said it could not accept mortgage payment “because it is not the full amount.” She added, “We would like the payment returned.” When the firm said it needed permission from Guldi, an authorization letter with the state prison as the return address was sent to permit Davidson to receive the payment.

According to the court papers, in another call with the mortgage firm, Davidson claimed to be an attorney and threatened “to take legal action” because she was getting “a run around” In a later April 10 call, Davidson called the original payment “a little anomaly” and said Guldi had asked her as a director of one of his companies to handle the matter because he “unfortunately is incarcerated.” Ten days later, court papers say, money was wired to a Davidson bank account.

Court documents say Davidson spent $47,415 of the money to pay back taxes and water bills for properties in Vermont. Other payments included $11,537 in child support, $1,225 in medical bills, and $911 in parking tickets.  Davidson also spent $361 at Bliss 57 Spa and $18 at the Whitney Museum, court papers state.

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