B’lyn state senator charged with embezzling foreclosure funds

TRD New York /
May.May 08, 2013 10:00 AM

A Brooklyn state senator who was overseeing foreclosure cases has been indicted for embezzling funds from the sales of those properties, the New York Daily News reported.

Senator John Sampson, a Democrat, was charged with embezzling $440,000 in escrow funds. Prosecutors told the Daily News that Sampson, an attorney, was appointed by Brooklyn judges to serve as a referee in several foreclosures. The case has sparked a Office of Court Administration review into how foreclosure sales are handled. “Clearly there is a statutory weakness that needs to be strengthened for greater accountability,” OCA spokesman David Bookstaver told the Daily News. “In the interim, we’re examining ways to add accountability.” 

Sampson was meant to receive the proceeds from sales of foreclosed properties and then pay off the mortgage, lawyers and other creditors. If any money remained, it was to be turned over to the homeowner. Beginning in 1998, however, prosecutors said that Sampson kept excess funds from the sales. Some of it was used in his 2005 unsuccessful run for Brooklyn district attorney, they added.

Courthouse insiders told the Daily News that no oversight existed in the process. “We rely on the referee to be truthful about the amount of surplus funds,” said Brooklyn County Clerk Nancy Sunshine. “The clerk has no authority to question that. It’s on the homeowner and creditor to check on what’s left over.” [NYDN]Hiten Samtani 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Maefield Development's Mark Siffin and 20 Times Square (Credit: Maefield)

Lender forecloses on Maefield’s billion-dollar Times Square project

Thor Equities' Joe Sitt and 725 8th Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Thor facing foreclosure at Theater District building

Home foreclosures dropped nearly 20% in Q3, report shows

Home foreclosures dropped nearly 20% in Q3, report shows

Manhattan’s 10019 zip code, which covers Midtown, Times Square, Herald Square and Midtown South, saw the most foreclosures in the borough with eight. (Credit: iStock)

Manhattan foreclosures soar 118%, driven by mortgage defaults

15 East 63rd Street and Oleg Cassini (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Oleg Cassini’s former UES headquarters faces foreclosure

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Frank Carone (Credit: Getty Images)

City tapped De Blasio donor to take over foreclosed properties

416 West 25th Street and Maverick Real Estate Partners principal David Aviram (Credit: Google Maps and LinkedIn)

Lenders in glass houses? Judge rules Maverick can’t foreclose on Chelsea property because it violated loan agreement

Foreclosure starts are up in 17 states and a number of major cities. (Credit: iStock)

Nationwide foreclosure rates continue to drop, but problem areas remain

arrow_forward_ios