The Examiner

Ex-No. Castle GOP Chair Looks to Rescind Plea; Sentencing Delayed

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Loronda Murphy
Loronda Murphy

The former North Castle Republican Committee chairwoman involved in a 2009 mortgage fraud scheme has attempted to rescind her guilty plea and retain a new lawyer, the Westchester County district attorney’s office has confirmed.

Sentencing of Loronda Murhpy, 48, who served as the local party’s chair in 2009 and 2010, has been repeatedly postponed for the past month until the matter is sorted out before Judge Barbara Zambelli, said Lucien Chalfen, a district attorney spokesman.

Originally, Murphy was scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 8 following her guilty plea last September to first-degree and second-degree residential mortgage fraud, the top two counts in her 19-count indictment. She faces up to 25 years in jail for her role in the fraud and must pay $720,000 in restitution.

Chalfen said that the court has attempted to appoint Murphy an attorney, veteran White Plains lawyer Paul Pickelle, to be her new counsel but it is unclear whether Pickelle will take the case. As of last week, there was still no attorney of record for her on the matter, he said.

Murphy remains free pending the sentencing and was due back in court on Tuesday morning (Feb. 5).

Pickelle declined to answer questions regarding the case when reached at his office.

Meanwhile, Murphy’s accomplice, former New Rochelle real estate attorney Scott Forcino, was sentenced as scheduled on Jan. 8 to three years probation. Forcino, 46, has also been disbarred.

Murphy operated the Armonk-based mortgage closing company Settle One Corp. where homeowners would refinance with the understanding that Forcino would oversee the closing and that money from the new mortgage would pay off their pre-existing mortgage.

Forcino allowed Murphy to fraudulently assume the role of attorney during the closings. Rather than paying off the pre-existing mortgage, Murphy stole portions of the new loan money for personal gain, leaving homeowners with simultaneous mortgages on their house.

She also prepared and submitted a series of false mortgage documents in connection with five closings that resulted in more than $1 million being deposited into Settle One’s account from two lenders, Wells Fargo Bank and Live Well Financial. The five victims, all Westchester residents, were defrauded of at least $50,000 each, including Murphy’s father.


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