U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
January 31, 2012
R.I. Steelworks Contractor Pleads Guilty in $4.2 Million Fraud Scheme
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Mario Perretta, 36, of Cranston, R.I., owner of M&M Ironworks in Providence, pled guilty in federal court in Providence today to eight counts of wire fraud and two counts of tax evasion in a fraud scheme that bilked investors in his company out of approximately $4.2 million. Perretta admitted to the court that he promised inventors high rates of return on investments into projects that did not exist. Instead, Perretta admitted, he spent the majority of money for gambling purposes, to purchase personal items and to pay for personal expenses.
M&M Ironworks performs structural steel work, primarily as a subcontractor, on construction projects.
Perretta’s guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office; and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston office of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation.
Perretta, who was charged in U.S. District Court by way of an Information on November 20, 2011, admitted to the court today that in late 2007, he hired an individual to recruit investors in his company. Perretta provided the employee with false and fraudulent information regarding projects that did not exist, in order to induce investors to provide money to M & M. Among the projects Perretta claimed his company was involved in included construction of a YMCA on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., and a construction project at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, CT. M&M ironworks was not involved in projects at either location.
Perretta also admitted to the court that he had an attorney draft promissory notes which he gave to investors which outlined the terms of their investment and falsely promised a high rate of return, around 12-14%. Perretta admitted that he pressed investors to provide him with cash investments in M & M by falsely representing to them that the company was in dire need of immediate cash infusions in order to continue operations. In addition, Perretta falsely represented to the investors that their investments would be safe because the construction projects were insured, when they were not.
Perretta is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on April 18, 2012. Perretta faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison followed by up to 3 years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 on each count of wire fraud; and a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison followed by up to 3 years of supervised release and a fine of $100,000 on each count of tax evasion.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis M. Matos. The matter was investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.