Washington real estate speculator Steven F. Madeoy was sentenced yesterday to 32 months to eight years in prison for what the judge described as a "well-calculated scheme" in which Madeoy used his father and brother-in-law to defraud the government by illegally obtaining federally insured mortgages.
"You haven't learned much. I see no remorse," U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene said after Madeoy, 34, completed a long, sometimes rambling statement in which he said he learned the illegal practices early in his career from other speculators.
"Years have gone and you've had plenty of opportunity" to change practices, Greene said, adding that Madeoy had "systemically violated" the law through "fraud and deceit" and, in the process, undermined the District's rent control laws "to the detriment of poor people."
"You do not regret your acts, but you regret being prosecuted, especially under the racketeering statutes," Greene said.
Rejecting defense attorney Kenneth M. Robinson's request that Madeoy be placed under house arrest for a year while he appeals his conviction, Greene called the suggestion a gimmick to try to reduce Madeoy's time in prison. The judge said that would be inconsistent with his goal of deterrence.
Madeoy was convicted in April, along with his father Jakey Madeoy, 70, and his brother-in-law Michael J. Friedman, 44, of racketeering, conspiracy and bribery after a seven-week trial that stemmed from a two-year nationwide investigation of loan fraud schemes that have cost the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development millions of dollars because of loan defaults.
Jakey Madeoy and Friedman were sentenced to lesser prison terms, and Greene ruled that all three men will remain free on bond while they appeal.
According to documents submitted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven C. Tabackman and Donald J. Allison, the 23 properties that formed the basis of the charges against the three men involved mortgages totaling $1.8 million, and more than half of those are in default. In all, the government investigated 153 transactions in which $9.6 million in loans were obtained illegally. More than a third of the properties are in default.
After the three-hour sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova praised the trial as a model for the continuing investigation, and warned that "a lot of real estate speculators" are in trouble if they use financing schemes like those Madeoy employed.
In addition to the prison sentence, which is one of the longest imposed here for so-called white-collar crimes, Greene ordered Madeoy to make restitution of $200,000 in addition to the $199,860 the jury ordered Madeoy to forfeit.
Unlike Steven Madeoy, who Greene said was motivated by money, the judge said Jakey Madeoy was "primarily motivated by a desire to help his son," but in doing so he "betrayed his position of trust" as a Veterans Administration real estate appraiser.
Greene sentenced Jakey Madeoy to five years, but suspended all except four months. He also ordered three years of probation, 200 hours of community service and restitution of $15,000 in addition to the $14,842 the jury ordered Jakey Madeoy to forfeit.
In contrast to his brother-in-law, Friedman told Greene he was sorry that the Federal Housing Administration had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars through the scheme and said, "If I had known what I found out at the trial, I would have never risked my life's work."
His comments also revealed an apparent split in the family when he accused Steven Madeoy and others in the scheme of "splitting up" hundreds of thousands of dollars while he accepted his normal fees for acting as the real estate settlement attorney.
His attorney, John C. Vardaman, said Friedman would be suspended from the bar immediately and faces disbarment.
"I stand here at Rosh Hashanah and ask for the mercy of the court," Friedman said.
But Greene said that Friedman "persisted in perjurious answers even when pressed" during trial cross-examination and that "I don't believe . . . any more than the jury did" that the scheme was never discussed among the three men.
Greene sentenced Friedman to 15 to 45 months in prison and ordered restitution of $108,311.62 in addition to the approximately $100,000 the jury ordered him to forfeit.