Bayville Scream Park Owner Guilty in $3.2M Scam
By Chris O'Neill
The owner of the Bayville Scream Park, Donald Finley, age 61, of Locust Valley, has pleaded guilty to a $3.2 million scam to steal federal Covid funds.
Finlay entered his "guilty" plea at a federal Court hearing in Central Islip. He confessed to stealing funds as part of a scheme of the disaster relief fraud and wire fraud connected to small business loans he obtained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He admitted to receiving $3.2 million in such funds via 29 Paycheck Protection Program loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. These funds were meant to help business owners survive the Covid lockdowns and were meant to cover expenses such payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. The loans were unsecured and on favorable terms. Qualified recipients do not have to repay EIDL-sourced funds.
Finley is accused on lying on his applications, including by massively inflating his payroll.
According to prosecutors, Finley used the money for personal use, including purchasing a luxury home in Nantucket.
Finley faces up to 30 years in prison. He should also to pay back more than $3.2 million in restitution - plus a fine of up to $1.25 million.
Prosecutors said the government will seek forfeiture of all property acquired by Finlay as a result of his fraud.
Finley was released on a $500,000 bond, pending his sentencing.
Finlay has defrauded other local businesses - including this newspaper - when he took-out ads and then stiffed the newspaper and refused to pay.
He is scheduled to appear for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Joan Azrack on November 8th.