Real Estate Development Project Manager Indicted on Fraud, Identity Theft Charges
PROVIDENCE, RI – A project manager for a real estate development company headquartered in Newport, RI, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he allegedly devised and executed a scheme in which he obtained more than $200,000 by forging endorsements on checks made payable to subcontractors and then depositing the proceeds into a bank account under his control.
A federal grand jury returned a fourteen-count indictment on May 3, 2018, charging Gregory Meeker, 55, of Barrington, RI, with twelve counts of fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment was unsealed during Meeker’s arraignment before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on May 4.
According to court documents, it is alleged that soon after Meeker was employed by Landings Real Estate Group (Landings) in December 2015, he devised a scheme in which he created false invoices in the names of subcontractors working on several large construction projects that he managed. It is alleged that Meeker caused Landings to issue checks in the names of the subcontractors to pay for work that was not done. It is alleged that Meeker endorsed the checks and deposited the funds into a bank account he controlled, which he opened using the identity of another person without their permission.
It is alleged in the indictment that among the projects Meeker managed that caused Landing to make payments on fraudulent invoices that he pocketed included the Newport Beach Club Project - the construction of several luxury residences in Portsmouth; the East Island Reserve Project - the construction of a hotel in Middletown; and the Long Meadow Landings Project – the construction of an apartment complex in Groton, CT.
It is also alleged in the indictment that Meeker forged the endorsement of the “Inspection Department” on checks made payable to the Town of Portsmouth, and deposited those checks into his bank account. The checks were drawn from the bank account of the company for which Landings built the Newport Beach Club Project.
The indictment of Gregory Meeker is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Harold H. Shaw.
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.
Meeker was released on $100,000 unsecured bond following his arraignment.
The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Hebert.