GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 12, 2013

City man charged with embezzlement

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — A Gloucester real estate mogul who police arrested Tuesday after he allegedly crashed his recreational boat into a docked vessel while piloting drunk is in deeper water now.

Philip D. Budrose faces a series of charges for allegedly depositing real estate down payments in his personal bank account and using the money to cover his living expenses, and police issued a warrant for his arrest Thursday on three counts of embezzling a total of some $150,000 through “several fraudulent real estate transactions.”

In one fraudulent transaction, described in detail in a police report, Budrose collected a $70,000 deposit on a piece of land in the Stanwood Point area, and deposited into his personal bank account rather than an escrow account.

According to the police report, Budrose told the buyer the seller had demanded the high deposit. When the seller, who made no such demand, asked Budrose why the buyer had placed such a high deposit he told her the buyer “wanted to appear as a ‘high roller’.”

By the time the buyer asked that his deposit be returned, Budrose told him he no longer had the funds to pay him back.

Budrose, in an interview with police, told officers he had spent all the money and had none left to return, according to the report.

“Budrose readily admitted to taking deposit money and depositing it in his own personal account,” police wrote.

He did present to police an “offer to purchase” agreement for a Daytona Beach hotel and resort that lists Budrose as the would be recipient of a $500,000 commission on the sale. Budrose’s document “indicated” that the hotel and a buyer had reached a sale agreement. He told police he planned to use the deposit to pay back the money he “wrongfully” spent.

But when police called the hotel’s listing agent, the agent told police the company had received two offers on that particular hotel, but had accepted neither. The agent sent an agreement he had on file, which differed from the one Budrose had presented to police. The agent’s agreement did indicate the commission, but provided different dates and agents.

The two other allegations against Budrose center on his purported acceptance of two more deposits on the same parcel of land.

The landowner maintains that Budrose had approached her about selling the land as her agent, but she never gave Budrose permission to work as her agent. She told police that Budrose forged documents “in order to make the transaction appear legitimate.”

Still, he accepted three deposits from two men, totaling $108,000.

The seller, becoming suspicious, asked for the deposit funds to be returned, but Budrose could only return $30,000 because he had spent the remaining money on himself.

A state database shows that Budrose’s real estate broker’s license, issued in 1968 and set to expire in June 2014, is current.

More charges against Budrose still stand in a case from July when he allegedly collected $160,000 toward the sale of a car that he never delivered — a car that investigators suspect may have not even existed, according to police. The case remains in Gloucester District Court.

A woman living at the address listed as Budrose’s home on Fort Hill Avenue had told police Sunday that Budrose was no longer living at the home.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.