A Glen Head millionaire who was a key figure in a Congressional corruption scandal has been accused in a lawsuit by a mortgage company of involvement in a scheme to steal more than $50 million through a network of companies in the city and on Long Island.
Thomas Kontogiannis, 60, who is serving an 8-year federal prison sentence for laundering bribes paid to former Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.), was sued last week by DLJ Mortgage Capital Inc. of Manhattan in Brooklyn federal court over what the firm claims was a massive scheme over several years.
Glen Head millionaire accused of stealing $50M
According to the lawsuit, the scam involved "at least 95 real estate sales and mortgage loan transactions sold to DLJ and other financial institutions." Also sued are Kontogiannis' wife, Georgia, and other relatives, as well as attorneys, title agents and various companies.
According to the lawsuit, the scheme involved the preparation of false loan applications on residential properties in Brooklyn and Queens, which they either owned or were planning to develop.
The applications were approved by one of Kontogiannis' mortgage funding firms, which then obtained the money from DLJ and the other institutions, according to court papers.
DLJ and the other lenders eventually discovered that the mortgages were never recorded, the complaint stated, adding that the scheme was only uncovered when monthly mortgage payments ended. A further investigation revealed that many of the properties were then sold by Kontogiannis and the other defendants, DLJ said in its complaint.
Even after pleading guilty in February 2007 in the Cunningham case, Kontogiannis "continued to engage in mortgage fraud," Burns said when he imposed the sentence last May. Along with prison, Burns fined Kontogiannis more than $1 million.
He is the owner of the Springfield Gardens apartment complex profiled here previously.