U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 1, 2010
R.I. REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY, STATE SENATOR TO PLEAD GUILTY AS CHARGED TO
MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEMES NETTING MORE THAN $1.7 MILLION
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Christopher B. Maselli, a North Providence real estate attorney and state senator from Johnston, has filed notice with the U.S. District Court in Providence that he intends to plead guilty to eight counts of bank fraud, as charged by the Government. An Information filed by the Government last week alleges that Maselli falsified bank and federal tax documents, and lied about his income and assets in obtaining more than 1.7 million dollars in mortgages. There is no Plea Agreement between Mr. Maselli and the Government.
The filing of the Information was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
Maselli was first charged in this matter in June by way of indictment with seven counts of bank fraud. The Information filed Tuesday contains those charges, and one additional count of bank fraud. In the latest charge, it is alleged that Maselli used a family member as a straw borrower, and fabricated documents to support the loan application.
According to the Information, between June 2007 and March 2009, Maselli, a self-employed attorney, allegedly 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. In all, Maselli obtained six mortgages on residential properties in Johnston and North Providence, and an auto loan, totaling approximately $1,725,027.50.
An arraignment hearing has been scheduled for November 3. Bank fraud is punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment, $1,000,000 fine and 5 years supervised release.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dulce Donovan.
The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations.