A former Bucks County prosecutor who had pleaded guilty to stealing mortgage payments, writing bad checks, and forging a judge's signature was sentenced to prison by a Delaware County Court judge yesterday.
Joseph James Scafidi, 53, of Warminster, was sentenced to serve 18 to 36 months in state prison and five years on probation, ordered to pay $42,000 in restitution to the homeowners, and forbidden to work in the mortgage or any other financial business.
Scafidi, who was working as a mortgage broker when he was arrested, also pleaded guilty yesterday to new charges, including perjury. He had earlier told authorities under oath he didn't know of any more fraudulent cases, but later acknowledged he was involved with others. The sentencing for the new charges was combined yesterday with the previous cases.
"I know I have to go to jail. It is an appropriate punishment, and I'll try to get help," Scafidi said before breaking down and crying as he apologized to the victims and to his family.
Scafidi, who once worked as a public defender and deputy district attorney in Bucks County, was disbarred in 1996 after he embezzled $264,000 in real estate settlement fees from a Fort Washington title company. He served a 10- to 23-month prison sentence.
His latest thefts were in Delaware, Montgomery and Bucks Counties. The charges were consolidated in Delaware County.
Yesterday, two victims told the court how Scafidi's actions ruined their credit and complicated their lives.
Regina Mancini said she and her fiance, Kenneth Bickings, had to postpone their wedding. She said they had lost $15,000 and a home to a sheriff's sale and were "trying to salvage the house we live in" after Scafidi persuaded the couple to refinance their homes.
A second victim, Garry Griffiths, 36, of Levittown, said, "He got what he deserved. . . . I've been having to work overtime to make up for what this guy did."
Griffiths said he has been able to save the home he and Joann Schoell co-owned but had to return a car they purchased.
Scafidi is due to report to Delaware County Prison on July 11 to begin his sentence.