Gubernatorial hopeful Steve Levy once bunked with mortgage fraudster

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Steve Levy, the ex-Democrat from Suffolk County who is now running for governor as a Republican, is a friend and former roommate of ex-con Ethan Ellner, according to the Daily News. Levy was the owner of 426 Raft Avenue in Holbrook, Long Island when Ellner, a title company owner and attorney lived there, between October 2001 and April 2004. Ellner, who knows Levy from St. John’s University Law School, represented Levy’s mother in a suit against the Internal Revenue Service in 1997, which was dismissed. The same year, Ellner was convicted of federal tax evasion and was sentenced to one month in jail, three months of confinement at home and three years of probation. He lost his law license in 1999 because of the conviction, but it was reinstated in November 2001. In March 2009, Ellner was indicted in connection with an $82 million mortgage fraud scheme centered on several Hamptons properties, along with Suffolk County legislator George Guldi and the owners of S&M club owners Donald MacPherson and his wife, Carrie Coakley. Prosecutors in the case had accused the group of using dominatrixes to recruit straw buyers for their scam. Ellner pleaded guilty in December. [NYDN]

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