Prominent Ghanaian Influencer Charged For Role In Romance Scheme And Extradited From United Kingdom To The United States
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the convictions of GEORGE GULDI, a former Suffolk County legislator and disbarred attorney, and VICTORIA DAVIDSON for defrauding Ditech Financial LLC, a mortgage lender, out of more than a quarter of a million dollars. The jury convicted GULDI and DAVIDSON of all counts following an approximately two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “George Guldi, while in prison, concocted and conducted a scheme along with his co-conspirator, Victoria Davidson, to brazenly steal more than $250,000 through blatant lies. Today, a jury held them accountable for their scheme, and they will both face justice for their shameless misconduct.”
According to the Complaint, the Superseding Indictment, court filings, evidence presented during the trial, and public information:
In February 2017, Ditech Financial LLC (“Ditech”), a mortgage lender, received a payment of approximately $250,000 from JPMorgan Chase in connection with the settlement of a civil lawsuit between several financial institutions. Ditech mistakenly treated the funds as a payment from GULDI toward his own mortgage, and it sent a letter to GULDI in March 2017 stating that it would not credit the payment because he owed more than the payment.
GULDI, who was in state prison at the time for insurance-related offenses and knew that he had not actually sent any money to Ditech, then enlisted his former girlfriend, DAVIDSON, to contact Ditech and try to “break” the funds “loose,” as he put it in a recorded call from prison. In the ensuing weeks, DAVIDSON called Ditech at least 19 times and, during those calls, told multiple lies in an attempt to obtain the funds — including falsely stating that she was an attorney and an officer of GULDI’s company and that GULDI had purportedly sent the funds to Ditech “accidentally” and wanted them returned.
In April 2017, after weeks of DAVIDSON’s misrepresentations, Ditech wired the funds to DAVIDSON’s personal bank account. Within two weeks, DAVIDSON had drained the bulk of the funds out of her account, paying various of her and GULDI’s expenses and purchasing multiple cashier’s checks. Within months, the money was gone.
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GULDI, 69, of Ludlow, Vermont, and DAVIDSON, 57, of Lakeville, Connecticut, were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of bank fraud. The conspiracy and bank fraud counts carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and the wire fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. GULDI is scheduled to be sentenced on May 30, 2023, and DAVIDSON is scheduled to be sentenced on May 31, 2023.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Madison Reddick Smyser, Jonathan L. Bodansky, and Daniel C. Richenthal, with the assistance of Paralegal Specialists Arjun Ahuja and William Sirmon IV, are in charge of the prosecution.