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Setauket man charged in fraudulent lien scheme, feds say

A Setauket man was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents on charges of falsely claiming that three Suffolk County judges and a court-appointed referee each owed him $1.5 million, according to federal officials and court papers.

The four were variously involved in denying Jerry Campora's claims that he did not default on the $570,000 mortgage on his residence at 1 Market Path, in Setauket.

HSBC bank, which had issued Campora the mortgage, had foreclosed on the property.

In retaliation, Campora, 46, filed liens in 2013 against the four in court in Lamar County, Georgia, south of Atlanta, claiming that each owed him the money. None of the judicial officials were named in court papers.

One of the three judges wrote in an opinion that "Campora has evidently conjured up an alternative legal universe in which he is the sovereign and the courts merely exist as ministerial bodies to do his bidding."

Campora pleaded not guilty to eight counts of wire fraud at arraignment in federal court in Central Islip and was released by U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert on $50,000 bond, officials said.

Both Campora's defense attorney, Tracey Gaffey, and federal prosecutor Raymond Tierney declined to comment.

If convicted, Campora faces up to 10 years in prison.

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