HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. - A house in North Babylon, another in Lindenhurst, and another posh waterfront home in West Islip were all owned by Louis LaDonna and are now all in foreclosure.
He's just one of 27 people arrested over the past two years labeled as scam artists fueled by greed in what has become a mortgage fraud free for all.
"No question in the midst of this financial meltdown, we all know the triggering event for this was the collapse in the housing market," said Thomas Spota, Suffolk County District Attorney.
LaDonna is accused of paying off "straw buyers" to purchase his homes way over market value by creating phony appraisal documents and making it appear that the "straw buyers" who were actually dirt poor, had the collateral for the deal.
They say LaDonna would pay off what he owed, the "straw buyer" disappears and the lender gets stuck with a mortgage no one pays.
In the end it's banks, and the financial institutions on Wall Street that get burned.
In cases like LaDonna who was apparently living the fast life, detectives are trying to get the money back they say he stole. They're taking his assets and freezing his bank accounts, but they say in other cases they won't be so lucky.