U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
June 22 , 2010
R.I. REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO 7 COUNTS OF BANK FRAUD
Providence, R.I. – A North Providence, R.I., real estate attorney indicted by a federal grand jury on federal bank fraud charges pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today in U.S. District Court. Christopher Maselli entered a not guilty plea before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David L. Martin. Magistrate Judge Martin released Maselli on $10,000 unsecured bond, and limited the defendant’s travel outside of Rhode Island to Massachusetts and Connecticut.
A seven count indictment announced last week by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha alleges Maselli falsified bank and federal tax documents, and lied about his income and assets, in obtaining more than 1.5 million dollars in mortgages. Maselli, 38, whose law practice is located in North Providence, resides in Johnston, R.I.
According to the indictment, between December 2007 and March 2009, Maselli, a self-employed attorney, inflated his annual income dating back to 2005; lied about personal assets; and submitted phony and altered bank statements and IRS tax returns when applying for mortgages, a home improvement loan and an auto loan. Maselli was approved for five mortgages on residential properties in Johnston and North Providence, and an auto loan, totaling approximately $1,525,027.50.
The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dulce Donovan.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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