A once-trusted businessman accused of scamming clients out of millions of dollars is now the subject of a complaint from the Secretary of State’s office.
Daniel Scalley, once trusted by his clients and even a long-time girlfriend, “engaged in a deliberate and ongoing scheme of defrauding Massachusetts residents,” according to the Secretary of State’s complaint.
“Did you steal their money?” FOX Undercover’s Mike Beaudet asked him.
“Did not,” responded Scalley.
“How do you explain the fact that they put their trust in you and now they've basically lost everything?” Beaudet asked, but Scalley only shut the door.
Others are talking, though.
Kristen Till says her 3,200-square-foot house in Boxford is proof of the nightmare she’s been living because of Scalley.
“This is supposed to be our foyer but just a shell on the inside. It's just a sore reminder. A big disappointment. What could have been. Where I could be,” she said.
She says Scalley convinced her to refinance her mortgage in 2004, take out an extra $150,000 to finish construction of the home and $61,000 more in cash that Till gave Scalley to invest.
“The end result was there was supposed to be a ton of equity in this house. And I was supposed to walk away with a half-million dollars in my pocket to pay cash for another house and not have a mortgage,” says Till.
But the home was never finished, and in less than a year, Till says Scalley told her all the money was gone. Unable to pay her new mortgage, she lost the house and is supposed to leave by December 1.
She thinks her money and home were stolen by Scalley.
“Hell. This is hell,” says Till.
She isn't the only person who says Scalley put her through hell.
“I'm a walking dead person. He's killed me but financially,” says Lynne Howell.
Howell owned her own restaurant in Woburn. A business relationship with Scalley developed into a romantic one, and Scalley took over all her finances. Later she says she realized he wasn't paying her bills.
“It was like putting out fires. He would pay some bills to keep the gas on, to keep the electric on, to keep food coming in. Just the bare minimum,” says Howell.
Howell ended up losing the restaurant, something she blames on Scalley.
“That's all I know how to do is cook and run a restaurant. I started that restaurant all by myself at 27 years old and I've been through turmoil running it on my own but I've gotten through them on my own. And the worst mistake I made was taking on Dan Scalley,” says Howell.
In 2009, a US Bankruptcy Court judge wrote that, “Scalley has exhibited a pattern of conduct whereby he achieves control over the personal and/or business finances of women with whom he has or seeks a personal relationship for purposes of his own financial gain."
“It was Daniel Scalley operating as an accountant, taking the trust of his clients to put them on a platform where they can be stripped clean of everything,” says attorney Margaret Melican, who filed a lawsuit against Scalley on behalf of Kristen Till.
Secretary of State William Galvin's office filed an administrative complaint against Scalley last week asking for a cease and desist order against him and his companies. The complaint focuses on what Galvin's office calls the defrauding of four investors, including Till, of more than a $1 million over the past 15 years.
According to the complaint, Scalley issued promissory notes to investors, telling them their money was safe because he had millions in personal real estate holdings. But Scalley allegedly admitted to investigators the funds were never secured. The complaint says Scalley owes Till $150,896. It doesn't name Howell but references numerous other cases.
The Secretary of State’s office wants investors to get their money pack and for Scalley to pay a fine.
The state attorney general’s office is also taking a look at the allegations.
In an e-mail, Scalley calls allegations he stole money from Till and Howell "ridiculous", writing, "you have been duped by Ms. Till and Howell!"
Scalley's attorney would only tell FOX Undercover, "There is a lot more here than meets the eye."
Till, who’s living in the basement of her home for more than a decade, says she’s encouraged that state authorities are now taking the complaints seriously.
“What has it done to your life?” asked FOX Undercover’s Beaudet.
“I think it's ruined,” says Till.