NEW YORK, Oct 21 (Reuters) - An attorney who helped
orchestrate a $92 million mortgage fraud scheme has been
stripped of his law license.
The Appellate Division, Second Department, on Oct. 18
disbarred Ted Doumazios, who practiced in Plainview, N.Y.
Doumazios pleaded guilty last year to working with New York
real-estate developer Thomas Kontogiannis in what U.S. District
Judge Kiyo Matsumoto at the time called "one of the largest
mortgage origination frauds on record."
Doumazios graduated from Hofstra University School of Law
and was admitted to practice in 1993. According to the
decision, he operated Clearview Abstract, a title company in
Nassau County where he prepared title reports that conveyed
clear title on properties that he knew did not have clear
title. He passed on those titles to Kontogiannis and was aware
that Kontogiannis would use them to defraud banks, the decision
Doumazios, who did not oppose the disbarment petition
sought by the Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial
District, pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and conspiracy
to commit bank fraud in December 2010. He has not been
sentenced. Matsumoto sentenced Kontogiannis earlier this month
to nine years in prison. Kontogiannis pleaded guilty a year ago
to conspiring to commit bank fraud and to wire fraud.
In disbarring Doumazios, the court found that under state
law, Doumazios automatically lost his license because of his
felony conviction. "Accordingly, the motion to strike the
respondent's name from the roll of the attorneys is granted,"
the court wrote. The disbarment was applied retroactively to
Dec. 15, 2010, the day of his guilty plea.
$92 MILLION IN LOSSES
From 2003 to 2007, Kontogiannis arranged for family members
and friends to perpetrate a scam that involved selling bogus
mortgages obtained fraudulently from Washington Mutual and DLJ
Mortgage Capital Inc to secondary buyers at those banks,
according to prosecutors. The banks lost about $92 million when
payments stopped on the mortgages.
Last month, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp sued
Doumazios, Clearview Abstract and two other defendants for
colluding with Kontogiannis and for receiving kickbacks for
providing false titles for property mortgaged through
now-defunct Washington Mutual.
Doumazios could not be reached for comment.
The case is In the Matter of Ted Doumazios, No. 2550507,
Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, Supreme Court
of the State of New York.
For the Grievance Committee: Robert A. Green, Hauppauge,
For Doumazios: No appearance.
(Reporting by Leigh Jones)
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