New York Businessman Sentenced To Prison For Committing Fraud To Purchase Nantucket Home

David Creed •

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The property at 26 Eel Point Road was purchased by Donald Finley with funds fraudulently obtained through PPP and other government loans.

Donald Finley, a 61 year old businessman and theme park owner from Locust Valley, New York, has been sentenced to 24 months in prison after pleading guilty in May 2023 to disaster relief fraud and wire fraud in connection with his receipt of $3.2 million dollars in small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDLP). These funds were later used for personal use - including the purchase of a Nantucket home. The sentence was announced Tuesday afternoon.

As part of his sentence, Finley has paid in full $3.2 million in restitution. He was also ordered to pay a $15,000 fine and complete 500 hours of community service. You can read our original reporting on this story here.

“Finley viewed the deadly pandemic that was gripping the nation as a way to steal millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds that he used to purchase a vacation home in Nantucket,” Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a press release. “Today the defendant learned the price to pay for such a shameful crime is a loss of his freedom and full restitution for the victims of his scam. Let this be a lesson to other lawbreakers who have engaged in similar conduct that this office will not forgive and forget COVID-19 fraud.”

Finley is the owner of Bayville Adventure Park in Nassau County and a now-defunct Jekyll & Hyde-themed restaurant. The house in question is believed to be located at 26 Eel Point Road, a property purchased on February 10th, 2021, for $2.25 million.

Donald Finley

“Donald Finley is an admitted criminal, pleading guilty to pocketing millions in COVID-19 relief funds," Thomas Fattorusso, IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge, said. "While he was enjoying his spoils from his ill-gotten gains, many business owners with legitimate needs were just able to keep the doors open. Today’s sentencing means that no one was amused by this Bayville Adventure Park owner’s criminal acts, and he will now face time in prison."

"We will pursue criminals from the busy streets of Manhattan to the shores of a quiet seaside village," USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Daniel B. Brubaker said. "We want crooks to know that when you use the mail to defraud the public, justice will be served. Today’s sentencing is proof of that truth.”

Between March 2020 and March 2021, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Finley fraudulently applied for, and received, at least 29 PPP and EIDLP loans totaling approximately $3.2 million on behalf of corporate entities he controlled. The applications contained "false information, bogus financial data and fabricated supporting documentation, all of which was designed to fraudulently induce the SBA and the lenders administering the PPP and EIDL programs to approve the loans." 

Once the loans were approved, Finley sent the funds through more than 30 bank accounts to prevent tracing of the proceeds, with substantial portions of the stolen funds being used to purchase real property in Nantucket, Massachusetts in February 2021, prosecutors said.

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