Buie was convicted of federal bank fraud - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Buie was convicted of federal bank fraud

Don Buie Don Buie
Mayor Willie Adams Mayor Willie Adams

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There is another bombshell in the Don Buie scandal- he served time in prison for bank fraud. Back in 1993, Buie pleaded guilty to falsifying documents to get a $102,000 home mortgage in Maryland.

He used a false Social Security number and lied about his income. After he was caught, Buie served a month in prison and was ordered to pay back thousands of dollars.

So how did he get his job in Albany? The city manager says the background check on Buie only went back seven years.

The deeper we dig, the more we find on Don Buie. Thursday, we learned that in 1993 Buie filled out a loan application with a false social security number, doctored his W-2's and claimed he was a certified public accountant making close to $60,000 a year.

So, the credit union gave him a home loan for more than $100,000. In reality, he made only about $10,000 a year, and had debt of more than $150,000.

We went to Don Buie's Corn Avenue home to confront him about all the claims that are being made about him, paying a girlfriend, paying his wife, even paying himself with tax dollars. Not surprisingly, he didn't answer. We're not sure if he's even still in town.

We did get a chance to talk to Albany Mayor Willie Adams about Buie's behavior. "This is probably the worst thing that happened to our administration," was his response.

But Adams said he wasn't frustrated by it. "Let me tell you why it's not frustrating to me. Because like in medicine, if there's a cancer, you cut it out and you keep going. We've done just that. As far as I'm concerned, it's something that's in the past."

But Buie's past, including a conviction for bank fraud, apparently wasn't caught by the city in a back ground check. Adams said he had heard rumors about that recently, but it's time to move on now.

He said, "Buie is no longer with us. He's no longer employed by us. He's no longer a part of our team. He is out of the picture completely as far as we're concerned."

Adams says the constant negative reporting about Buie's antics are casting a bad light on the city.  He said, "It's your job to reveal it, but I think to keep dwelling in the negatives, it certainly does not serve this community any good." 

"The problem is, we keep finding out more," we said.

"Then print it, then print it, but we're going to go ahead," said the mayor.

Meanwhile, the city, and the ADICA board are continuing to dig into financial records and trying to cancel any contracts Buie made that were improper or illegal.

In the Maryland criminal case, Don Buie had to re-pay $42,000 to a bank and a credit union.

He has not been charged with a financial crime here in Albany, but he remains under GBI investigation for his handling of city money. See this story on WALB.com for a link to court documents regarding Buie's sentencing in Maryland.

      • Here are some facts from court documents obtained by WALB:

On Jan 5. 1993, Don Eric Buie, together with his wife Stacy K., submitted a residential loan application to Fairfax Mortgage, a subsidiary of Fairfax Bank.

On the loan application, he gave a Social Security number and stated he was employed as CPA.

He stated his base monthly salary as $4,800.

During loan application process, he provided W2's reflecting income of $56,000 in 1990 and $59,000 in 1991.

Based on that information, Fairfax gave him and his wife a loan for $102,650.

In April 1994, he was interviewed by the FBI  and admitted providing a social security number that wasn't his. He also admitted altering W2 forms. (The W2's did not match his tax returns.)

In reality, his salary was only $10,000 or $12,000 a year.

He pleaded guilty to using false documents to obtain a federally- insured loan.

He served one month in prison, five months home confinement, and 4.5 years probation.

      • Click HERE to read Maryland court documents concerning Buie's conviction


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