RIVERHEAD - Opening statements were presented today in the insurance-fraud trial of former Suffolk County Legislator George Guldi (D-Westhampton Beach).

Guldi delivered his own opening statement, defending himself against grand larceny and insurance-fraud charges in a case that involves his Westhampton Beach home.

The house burned down in 2008 and Guldi received an $853,000 check from his insurance company. Prosecutors say Guldi forged an insurance company's signature on the check, deposited the money in his personal account and never repaired the home.

Prosecutors are also building a case against Guldi in a larger case involving a $82 million mortgage scam, in which the former lawmaker and a dozen other people are accused of taking out mortgages on 30 homes on the East End, collecting mortgage money and then abandoning the houses.