New York adventure park owner pleads guilty to stealing $3 million in federal coronavirus aid

Central ISLIP, New York (AP) — Owner new york Long Island Adventure Park admitted Thursday that it fraudulently obtained more than $3 million in federal coronavirus aid and used it for its own purposes, including buying a home on Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Donald Finlay pleaded guilty to disaster relief fraud and wire fraud during a federal court hearing in Central Islip. Finley’s plea deal calls for at least $3.2 million in damages and fines of up to $1.25 million. He could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, although he is expected to be ineligible for the maximum sentence.

A verdict was scheduled for November 8.

U.S. Attorney Breon Pease said in a statement: “Our firm is investigating individuals like the defendant who shamelessly stole from government programs aimed at small businesses and families struggling during the pandemic. and will continue to prosecute.”

On Thursday night, a message seeking comment was left to Finley’s attorney, Christopher Ferguson, and the email address and phone number listed for Finley.

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According to reports, Finley told the court that he “deeply regrets his actions”. Newsday coverage.

Finley, 61, of Locust Valley, New York, owns Bayville Adventure Park on Long Island’s north shore, which features pirate-themed miniature golf courses, bumper boats, arcades and other attractions. There is He also owned a now-defunct Jekyll and Hyde-themed restaurant in Manhattan.

According to prosecutors, Finley submitted bogus applications for nearly 30 small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program in 2020 and 2021, and received about 320 loans from companies he controlled. received millions of dollars.

Instead of using the money for pandemic-related expenses, Finley diverted it for personal uses, including buying a house in Nantucket in February 2021, prosecutors said.

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