Disbarred Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Recording False Liens

Allison Tussey —  January 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

John C. McBride, 65, Marblehead, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to tax and bank fraud violations, primarily for recording fraudulent federal tax lien releases on properties he owned in Marblehead and Edgartown, Massachusetts.

The defendant pleaded guilty before U.S. District Chief Judge Patti B. Saris to endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administrations of the Internal Revenue laws and bank fraud.  McBride, who was indicted in June 2013, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 28, 2015.

In early 2008, McBride, a now-disbarred criminal defense lawyer, recorded six fraudulent federal tax lien releases against his Marblehead home, in order to obtain a $288,000 loan secured by that property and deprive the IRS of its nearly $700,000 secured interest.  McBride prepared the releases himself, without the knowledge or authorization of the IRS, and forged the signatures of IRS officials on them.

In March 2008, McBride attempted, unsuccessfully, to record two similar fraudulent tax lien releases against a second home he owned in Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard.

In 2011, McBride attempted to obtain a $387,000 reverse mortgage loan from Bank of America, which was to have been secured by his Edgartown property.  In connection with that loan application, McBride falsely told the bank that there were no liens on the Edgartown property and that he was not then in bankruptcy.  In fact, there were substantial liens on the property and McBride’s bankruptcy case, which he had filed in 2009, was still ongoing.

In furtherance of his effort to obtain the bank loan, McBride prepared and recorded a fraudulent and unauthorized discharge of mortgage which purported to discharge a more than $700,000 existing mortgage on his Edgartown property.  Bank of America discovered that the discharge was fraudulent before the loan closed, and no funds were disbursed to McBride.

The charge of bank fraud provides a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison and three years of supervised release.  The charge of endeavoring to obstruct and impede the due administrations of the Internal Revenue laws is three years in prison and one year of supervised release.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Robert E. O’Malley, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Office of Investigations, New York Field Office (TIGTA); Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent Charge of Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

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Allison Tussey

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