HomeNewsNew York Irish Society’s Mortgage Default and Letitia James Hypocrisy

New York Irish Society’s Mortgage Default and Letitia James Hypocrisy

The American Irish Historical Society, are in deep financial trouble according to Amanda Devine in the New York Post with their grand old building on Fifth Avenue. It involves an unpaid mortgage loan, a fading family dynasty, and a James Joyce theatrical production which almost ended in fisticuffs. On top of all that Donald Trump’s nemesis New York Attorney General Letitia James got involved by coming to the rescue of the beleaguered Society with a most hypocritical intervention.

Irish Roots and Deep Pockets

The background to the story involves James Doyle, a wealthy Irish American businessman from Georgia with a love of his Irish roots, joining the board of the beleaguered non-profit Society, the owners and occupiers of a rare mansion at 991 Fifth Avenue, situated right across from Central Park. As with many such societies financial mismanagement and misfortune befell the Society over the years and as a result it found itself facing foreclosure. In desperation back in 2017, the board turned to James Doyle who had deep pockets and asked him for a $3 million loan. This was forthcoming and it was structured like a private mortgage with an agreement to repay the loan in regular instalments, a common arrangement in New York. He was told that the building was worth $80 million that included valuable (build up) air rights.

A Private Club?

The Society however defaulted on the repayment instalments after just a few deposits. On top of that James Doyle soon discovered that things weren’t quite what they seemed. The Society, he discovered had been dominated for over half a century by just one family, the Cahill’s where President Emeritus Dr. Kevin Cahill appeared to be treating the building as his own “private club.” His son, Christopher had been appointed as its “well-compensated executive director,” according to the New York Times. Christopher earning for 2020 was $88,459, and according to IRS returns was between $134,768 and $179,402 in previous years. “This was a society that couldn’t pay the mortgage” Doyle fumed.

“The Dead”

Cahill, a high profile tropical-disease specialist who had treated Pope John Paul II after he was shot, is reported to have raised the funds to renovate the building and return it to its former glory after taking over in the 1970’s.

Then, in 2019, Cahill’s son and executive director Christopher, then aged 55, became embroiled in an ugly confrontation with the director of the Irish Repertory Theatre where he is supposed to have said, “I’m going to kill you, Ciaran!” while lunging at the director after the performance, according to The Times. At the time the theatre was staging a play on the premises, adapted from the James Joyce short story, “The Dead.” 

The Society in Crisis

The Society’s finances had reached crisis point by 2021. Cahill then tried to sell the building for $52 million which was later reduced to $44 million.

When Cahill died the following year, the New York Attorney General, Letitia James and Donald Trump’s nemesis became involved following a petition opposing the sale that she had received. 

She stated that, by state law, the sale of a non-profit asset had to be approved by her, effectively killing the sale plan. “It’s an amazing place,” James told the Irish Voice. “We had to save it, had to save it … One-day people can come in there and enjoy it again.” Meanwhile James Doyle was still owed $3 million.

Attorney General Letitia James then appointed an interim Board of Directors and James Doyle was persuaded to hold off on collecting his money or foreclosing on the mortgage before July 2023. 

Attorney General Letitia James

July 2023 came and went and Doyle was still unpaid so in August 2023, he still hadn’t been repaid, so he initiated foreclosure proceedings. Those proceedings were promptly blocked by Attorney General James, who claimed the mortgage was invalid because Doyle was a board member.

Doyle was now seriously fed up so he launched a lawsuit against the Society as well as requesting a subpoena to be issued requiring James to produce a raft of documents, including anything relating to political campaign events hosted at the Society building or any contributions to her political campaigns from the Society or any of its members or directors. 

Conflicts of Interest

James Doyle’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, alleges that James’ enthusiastic involvement in the case may be driven by “connections with the Defendant.”

He also points out the uncanny similarities between his client’s predicament and the now notorious case James brought against Donald Trump for supposedly inflating the value of his properties to get a better mortgage, “although her office is now taking a polar opposite position.”

Fraudulently Inflated Valuations

Doyle’s lawsuit alleges that he was given “fraudulently inflated valuations” of the property, stating its market value at over $80 million. When seeking the loan from Doyle, Dr. Cahill and the Society’s President-General, James Normile, “made representations to Doyle that the building had ‘air rights’ and could be built higher than its current height. 

“In reality, there were no ‘air rights’ and the actual value is closer to $20 million. [The Society] made a gross over-valuation” of the townhouse, which induced Doyle to make the $3 million loan.

“Tish James said, ‘nobody is above the law,’ which should include Tish James, who seems to have actively aided and abetted in the Art of the Steal,” Parlatore told the “New York Post.”

This organization fraudulently inflated the value of their building to induce my client into giving them a mortgage which Tish James is now trying to help these fraudsters avoid having to repay. 

The Elephant in the Room

Tish James started digging a hole for herself by forgetting about the elephant in the room in all of this who is none other than Donald Trump. But Tish keeps on digging. “The theory of fraud Tish James accused the Trump Organization of engaging in is identical to the fraud she is aiding and abetting here.” 

The reality is that James has come down on the side of the Society against its lender, James Doyle. Yet, in the case of the People v. Trump, she took the opposite position, claiming that “where an organization inflates the value of a property to obtain a loan, that is fraud, even where the lender was aware of the actual value and was paid in full,” Doyle’s lawsuit says. Tish just keeps on digging.

Tish’s Double Standards

Trump was hit with a whopping $355 million fine. James was so delighted by the verdict that she started live-tweeting Trump’s daily interest bill: “+$114,553.04.”

Parlatore asserts that the Society inflated the value of its property to obtain a loan, just like Trump was accused of, the difference being that Doyle was in no position to conduct a “sophisticated due diligence” like Deutsche Bank had done. Therefore, unlike Trump’s lenders, Doyle didn’t know the true value of the townhouse.  More importantly, Trump paid back every penny he owed, but the Society never paid Doyle back. Yes Tish just keeps on digging.

Tish James and the Society don’t seem to be aware of the old Irish proverb that says, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”



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