The chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature is denying claims in court papers filed in Nevada by a former employee of his mortgage company. Ryan McMahon finds himself accused, in those papers, of mortgage fraud. Bill Carey talked to chairman McMahon about the allegations.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- They were allegations tucked away in a sentencing memorandum filed in a Las Vegas federal court by a public defender representing Michael Hughes.
Prosecutors claimed Hughes was one of three leaders of a $53 million mortgage fraud case in Nevada.
Just a few years ago, he had been working in Syracuse at The Funding Source, a mortgage firm that was owned by one-time Syracuse city auditor Phil LaTessa and the current chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature, Ryan McMahon.
In his filing in the Nevada case, Hughes claimed he had tipped the FBI to fraud committed by the Funding Source. Fraud that he claimed cost someone $8 to $10 million.
"We think this is an attempt by Mike to try to cooperate any which way, and throw mud at a wall, and hope something sticks, to help lower his sentence. He was in a desperate situation and these look like desperate measures," said Ryan McMahon, (R) Onondaga County Legislature Chairman.
There are some indications that the Funding Source itself may have been the victim of a fraud, but there are few details available on that case.
As far as Hughes' claim, McMahon says he was stunned.
McMahon said, "Obviously, we're sad. Mike was somebody who worked with us from 2010 to 2011. Mike had a lot of personal demons that he was working through during his employment with us. He was a good employee for a time period. That changed when the allegations from Las Vegas law enforcement agencies were brought forward.
In Las Vegas, prosecutors have told the Judge Hughes is actually violating his plea deal by seeking more leniency. They oppose his request.
There has been no comment from the FBI on any investigation involving the Funding Source.
McMahon said, "To this point the Funding Source nor myself nor Phil LaTessa, to my knowledge, have been contacted by any law enforcement agency to talk about these matters. So I can't speculate on whether or not there is any investigation or file on these topics."
McMahon says he can only sit back and hope that, eventually, his name will be cleared.