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"Soho Journal publisher guilty in S&M mortgage scam"

on Thursday, 24 November 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

The Villager

Donald MacPherson — publisher of the Soho Journal who once mulled a run for Community Board 2 chairperson — pleaded guilty last Wednesday to 45 counts of grand larceny, insurance fraud and other crimes in an elaborate $82 million Hamptons mortgage fraud scam.

Prosecutors described it as the most massive mortgage fraud case in Suffolk County’s history. Up to 60 homes were involved, mostly on Long Island’s East End.

According to the Southampton Press, MacPherson’s trial was set begin on Mon., Nov. 14, two days before he accepted his plea.

In July, former Suffolk Legislator George Guldi pleaded guilty to being part of the five-person mortgage fraud along with MacPherson. The five were charged in March 2009 with stealing millions of dollars from lenders between 2002 and 2007. ...

MacPherson’s wife, Carrie Coakley, 41, who was also implicated in the mortgage fraud ring, has not entered a plea and remains charged with first-degree grand larceny and scheme to defraud in the first degree, the spokesperson said. Her next court date is Dec. 5.

Coakley — who is a dominatrix, according to the D.A. — is accused of recruiting straw buyers for the scheme at The Dungeon, the Manhattan S&M club where she was in charge. In the end, 17 individuals total were indicted in the scheme.

Newsday reported that it took almost an hour and a half for MacPherson to answer questions last Wednesday about the various ways he swindled banks in properties in Southampton.

He reportedly said he paid the straw buyers a fee of $10,000, assuring them he would make the mortgage payments on a particular house. But he instead retained the mortgage proceeds and allowed the house to go into foreclosure.

Newsday said that MacPherson admitted that he inflated his income and that of his straw buyers, and that he falsely reported that some of the buyers were employed in high-level jobs in companies he owned. ...

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