Monday, October 26, 2020

Former village trustee jailed for extortion and mortgage fraud

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A former Hempstead Village trustee was sentenced Tuesday in a case involving bribe-receiving, grand larceny and other charges.

Perry Pettus pleaded guilty on June 13 to the charges, as well to charges involving tampering with public records,  falsifying business records, conspiracy, official misconduct, tampering with a witness, according to Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

On Tuesday he was sentenced to 2-1/3 to seven years in prison for extorting business owners, ticket fixing, and submitting false paystubs to obtain a mortgage.

“Perry Pettus’s corrupting influence infected virtually every aspect of government in the Village of Hempstead,” DA Singas said. “He abused his position to shake down businesses and solicit bribes and exploited his authority over the Hempstead Police Department to obtain favorable treatment for friends and to punish enemies. With today’s sentence a disturbing chapter in the Village’s history has ended and I renew my call for Village officials take comprehensive steps to prevent this kind of corruption and abuse in the future.”

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Back in 2018, the DA’s office said it began the investigation into Pettus –  a former deputy mayor of the village and owner of Hempstead Hub Towing – earlier that year, after it  received credible information about an alleged bribery and extortion scheme.

Authorities said that in November 2016, Pettus went to a TD Bank branch in Hempstead to apply for a mortgage loan to purchase the North Carolina home. He was accused of false pay stubs to increase his income in order to qualify for the loan, according to the DA’s office. Pettus was also accused of giving the bank a signed letter, claiming to be an employee of an auto collision business, and submitted four false paystubs purporting to be issued by that same auto collision business that inflated his income by $4,333 a month.

Additionally, in February 2017, Pettus was accused of attemping to steal approximately $35,000 from Web Bank. The DA’s office said Pettus had provided a forged W2 income tax form that inflated his annual income nearly $100,000, while attempting to obtain a debt consolidation loan.

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