The FBI sought evidence of loan fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud when agents searched David Silipigno’s business offices in early June, according to search warrants recently unsealed in U.S. District Court.
Agents searched offices on the third, fifth and sixth floors of the Rip Van Dam building at 353 Broadway on June 9 and looked into several local self-storage units on subsequent days, the search warrants state.
Search warrant applications and lists of items seized were unsealed last week by Magistrate Judge David R. Homer in Albany.
The Rip Van Dam search application asked the judge for permission to enter “the offices maintained by David B. Silipigno and business entities owned by and/or associated with Silipigno.”
First Guarantee Mortgage attorney Leslie Apple said Wednesday that Silipigno himself is not the target of the investigation.
Authorities linked the Saratoga Springs man to the following targeted businesses: First Guarantee Mortgage, Industry Partners Title, Principle Commercial Corp., American Bank — Saratoga Branch, Eagle National Bank Mortgage — Saratoga Branch, InstantRefi.com, Consumer Direct Marketing, Business Outsource Services, Integrated Business Services, Secure Technology Management and Broadway Business Solutions.
He is also connected to other businesses that appear not to be targeted, including ShopWurld and Saratoga Studios.
Authorities hauled away a truckload of items from the businesses.
Some of the more unusual items seized included the top of First Guarantee Mortgage president Chris Lang’s desk and a framed group photo.
Agents seized loan applications, income and tax statements, wire transfer statements, canceled checks, e-mails between employees, computers and servers, hard drives, phone bills and personnel records.
Federal agents also searched several rented self-storage units in connection with those businesses.
Units at Morr-is-Stored in Wilton were searched on June 9, units at Affordable Self Storage in Wilton were searched on June 10 and on June 11, agents visited U-Store-It in Saratoga Springs and Mechanicville Self-Storage.
Nothing was taken from the Saratoga Springs storage facility. From the other storage units, authorities seized boxes of files, a First Guarantee Mortgage training manual, payroll documents and a computer server.
Special FBI agents M.D. McDonald and T. J. Roberts applied for the search warrants.
Apple said he believes the FBI search is part of a nationwide probe into mortgage fraud and First Guarantee will escape unscathed.
“The FBI appears to be just at the early stages of the investigation, which is why I suspect that this is just part of a nationwide inquiry without any specific reason to investigate,” Apple said.
“The attorney general’s office had them under a microscope, and as far as we know, nothing ever came of it, and we haven’t heard from them for over a year.”
The company has not gotten its property back from federal authorities, he said. The search warrants say the property is to be returned within 30 days of its seizure, which would have been more than a month ago.
Apple said he has asked for the company to get its property back.
First Guarantee Mortgage dissolved more than a year ago. It specialized in bad credit and subprime mortgages.
Silipigno’s previous mortgage business, National Finance Corp. of Halfmoon, closed suddenly in 1999, and Silipigno was convicted of felony wire fraud and lying under oath in 2003 in connection with its demise.
Silipigno was sentenced to three years of supervised release, fined $100,000 and paid back $5.6 million in restitution.
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