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June 21, 10

NEWS / Rhode Island Real Estate Attorney Indicted in Schemes Netting $1.5 Million in Mortgages


PROVIDENCE, RIóA federal grand jury Thursday indicted a North Providence, Rhode Island real estate attorney on charges he falsified bank and federal tax documents, and lied about his income and assets, in obtaining more than $1.5 million in mortgages. U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the seven-count indictment on bank fraud charges against Christopher B. Maselli.

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.

U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, ďIt goes without saying that ensuring the integrity of the mortgage loan application process is of critical importance. The allegations in this indictment are particularly disturbing in that an attorney, who is trusted to provide sound legal advice and to conduct real estate transactions in a fair and honest manner, used his expertise to fraudulently obtain his own mortgages.Ē

Maselliís initial appearance in U.S. District Court has not yet been scheduled.

The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General. 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 governmentís burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

http://boston.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel10/bs061810.htm

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