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FORMER WARNER & STACKPOLE PARTNER PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING THE DIME SAVINGS BANK OF NEW YORK

 BOSTON, May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- United States Attorney A. John Pappalardo announced today that an attorney formerly with the Boston law firm of Warner & Stackpole pleaded guilty to defrauding The Dime Savings Bank of New York.
 United States Attorney A. John Pappalardo announced that former Warner & Stackpole partner, Marguerite Nickerson, 50, of Plymouth, Mass., pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Rya W. Zobel to 14 counts of making false statements to Dime in connection with three different condominium projects for which Dime was providing loans to buyers.
 At the plea hearing, a federal prosecutor stated that from before 1987 through 1989, defendant Nickerson was a partner at Warner & Stackpole, a law firm located first at 28 State Street and later 75 State St. in Boston. During that time period, Warner & Stackpole represented Dime at hundreds of real estate closings where Dime was providing the financing to purchasers of condominium units. At a number of these closings, including many of the closings of loans to which Nickerson pleaded guilty, Warner & Stackpole also represented other parties to the transactions, such as the buyer or seller of the condominium. Defendant Nickerson defrauded Dime by deceiving the bank into believing that buyers of units at various condominium projects in Massachusetts had made large down payments on the units, when in truth they had made no down payments, and by concealing from Dime the fact that the buyers had received second mortgage loans in order to finance their purchases. By misrepresenting that the buyers had paid 20 percent or more of the purchase price of the units as cash down payments, Nickerson induced Dime to make loans to unqualified borrowers. Dime was thus put at greater risk that the borrowers would default on their loans. Most of the fraudulently obtained loans to which Nickerson pleaded guilty are in default and Dime has been forced to foreclose on the units.
 At sentencing, which Judge Zobel set for July 26, 1993, Nickerson faces a maximum of 28 years imprisonment and over $1,000,000 in fines.
 In a related case, former Warner & Stackpole partner Robert Zimmerman was indicted in September 1992, together with developers Stephen Furber and Leo Hamel and Dime loan officer Clark Waterfall, for conspiracy, bank fraud and false statements in connection with loans obtained from Dime for a condominium project known as Gaslight Village in Chelsea, Mass. Furber pleaded guilty in October, 1992. Zimmerman, Hamel and Waterfall are awaiting trial.
 In another related case, former Warner & Stackpole associate, Scott Jamieson, 31, of Natick pleaded guilty to five counts of making false statements to Dime in connection with two different condominium projects for which Dime was providing loans to buyers.
 In the final related case, Warner & Stackpole agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a civil penalty action filed by the United States on April 27, 1993. The civil penalty action alleged that on 32 occasions from 1987 through 1989, Warner & Stackpole falsely and fraudulently represented to Dime that buyers/borrowers had made cash payments of 20 percent or more toward the purchase price of condominium units, when, in fact, they had made only small down payments or no down payments at all. Warner & Stackpole further failed to disclose that, in violation of the bank's underwriting standards, the buyers/borrowers had obtained secondary financing as a means of purchasing the condominiums. With respect to many transactions, Warner & Stackpole represented both the lender, i.e. Dime, and either the purchaser obtaining the loan from Dime or the seller or other party providing the secondary financing. Indeed, although Warner & Stackpole was representing to Dime that secondary financing did not exist, in many instances it was Warner & Stackpole itself which drafted, notarized, and/or recorded the second and third mortgages in question. As a result of such fraud and false statements by Warner & Stackpole, according to the complaint, the bank was fraudulently induced to issue numerous mortgage loans to buyers who did not meet its underwriting standards. Many of these loans ultimately defaulted.
 The complaint alleged that Warner & Stackpole's fraudulent statements to Dime were made to facilitate the closings on the numerous transactions, to satisfy the law firm's condominium developer clients who were selling the properties in questions and to generate fees for Warner & Stackpole.
 The case against defendant Nickerson was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Richard E. Welch, III and Carolyn Stafford Stein of Pappalardo's Economic Crimes Unit.
 -0- 5/10/93
 /CONTACT: Press Officer of the U.S. Attorney's Office, 617-223-9445/


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Date:May 10, 1993
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