Long Island’s Bayville Adventure Park owner Donald Finley has pleaded guilty to stealing $3 million in federal coronavirus aid
The owner of a New York adventure park on Long Island admitted Thursday that he fraudulently obtained more than $3 million in government coronavirus aid and spent it on himself, including buying a home on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts.
Donald Finley pleaded guilty to disaster relief fraud and wire fraud during a hearing in federal court in Central Islip.
Finley’s settlement provides that he pay more than $3.2 million in damages and a fine of up to $1.25 million.
He also faces up to 30 years in prison, but is not expected to receive the maximum sentence.
The sentencing was scheduled for November 8th.
“This office will continue to investigate and prosecute those, such as the defendants, who are shamelessly stealing from government programs designed to help small businesses and families in need during the pandemic,” US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement.
Messages seeking comment were left Thursday night to Finley’s attorney, Christopher Ferguson, and to an email address and phone number provided for Finley.
“I deeply regret my behavior,” Finley said in court, according to a Newsday report.
Finley, 61, of Locust Valley, New York, owns Bayville Adventure Park on Long Island’s north shore, which features a pirate miniature golf course, bumper boats, arcade and other attractions.
He was also the owner of a now defunct Jekyll & Hyde themed restaurant in Manhattan.
Prosecutors said Finley filed 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 $3.2 million for companies he controlled.
Instead of spending the money on expenses related to the pandemic, Finley used it for personal use, including buying the Nantucket home in February 2021, prosecutors said.