And he hasn't given the money back.
HTFC a sub-prime lender which is being sued by GMAC for selling bad mortgages and made front-page news in Newsday is a contributor to Assemblyman Joe Saladino's campaign.
HTFC CEO Aaron Wider contributed $3400 last year and was also a sponsor of Saladino's 2007 Marine and Outdoor Recreation Expo and Music Festival.
Saladino also received the exact same amount the same day from the massapequa-based company of an HFTC account executive.
According to Newsday "By all appearances, Aaron Wider is the chief executive of a flourishing mortgage bank in Garden City, issuing more than $33 million in home loans to buyers across Nassau and Suffolk counties over the past four years.
A closer look at his lending practices, however, reveals that many of these loans relied on faulty appraisals and exaggerated loan applications, leaving behind angry homeowners who are struggling to pay mortgages on overpriced homes.
"I trusted him, I felt like he was an honest person," said Robin Fitzgerald, who negotiated with Wider to pay $805,000 for a home in North Massapequa in 2005 that a later appraisal valued at $545,000. Fitzgerald is now facing foreclosure. "I wasn't familiar with the prices of houses here. I'm a first-time homeowner."
Along with a handful of associates, Wider bought and sold houses and issued mortgages for at least 30 properties, pushing the prices of some homes to as much as $300,000 above similar sales in the area, a Newsday investigation has found. Most of the time, the houses were sold twice on the same day."
"One of his bank's biggest borrowers was Wider himself, who received $10.8 million in home loans. Banks have begun foreclosure proceedings against the owners of at least 12 of these homes, exacerbating an already rising foreclosure rate in East Massapequa, the community where most of Wider's activity has been concentrated.
Wider's bank, HTFC Corp., is being sued in federal court by two large banks it sold millions of dollars in loans to -- Pennsylvania-based GMAC Bank and a subsidiary, Minnesota-based Residential Funding Company -- which charge in court records that the loans were fraudulent."
Wider preyed on Saladino's constituents but Saladino still keeps the money.
When Saladino had to opportunity to vote on A08972C - New York state responsible lending act of 2008 "to regulate subprime and nontraditional home loan lending," Saladino DID NOT VOTE.
Newsday outlines one sale in N. Massapequa "One example of Wider's actions is the Fitzgerald house at 1004 North Broadway -- an ordinary high ranch in the middle-class neighborhood of North Massapequa, with a stone facade and a view of a busy street. On a single day in April 2005, the house inexplicably skyrocketed in value.
First, Wider bought it for $475,000, Nassau County property records show. Then he transferred the property to a real estate trust, with a trustee who was Wider's personal lawyer.
The same day, the trust sold the house to a one-time account executive at Wider's bank for $750,000. At the same time, HTFC issued the account executive two loans totalling $700,000."
And Wider's background? "Lawsuits have followed Wider since he began investing in real estate at least five years ago. According to one federal suit that was settled in 2005, Wider's bank issued loans in the name of four dead people in the Chicago area, then sold those loans to another bank. Wider's ex-wife has sued him. In a Nassau County case that also was settled, she said he talked her into using her credit to buy several homes in the Bronx and Cleveland then never paid the mortgages as he promised."
Would YOU take campaign money from him?
Saladino did and he doesn't seem to care.
Saladino's opponent Keith Scalia is running a clean money campaign. Because that is what we need to get the very best candidates in office, not the best funded candidiates.