Appellate Court Denies Estate Planner’s Attempt to Vacate Guilty Plea; Leaves Prison Term, Restitution Order Intact
PROVIDENCE, RI—The First Circuit Court of Appeals today let stand a District Court ruling denying motions by Joseph A. Caramadre to withdraw his guilty plea to conspiring to steal and use the identities of terminally-ill patients to obtain millions of dollars in illicit profits from insurance companies and bond issuers, and left intact a sentence of six-years in federal prison imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith.
Joseph A. Caramadre, president, CEO and majority owner of Estate Planning Resources in Cranston, R.I., was sentenced on December 16, 2013, to 72 months in federal prison to be followed by three years’ supervised release, during which time he is required to perform 3,000 hours of community service to the elderly and terminally-ill individuals. Caramadre was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $46 million dollars.
Caramadre pleaded guilty on November 19, 2012, to conspiracy to commit identity theft and wire fraud, as the second week of testimony in his federal court jury trial was scheduled to begin. Prior to sentencing, Caramadre attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, however his motion to withdraw the guilty plea was denied by Chief Judge William E. Smith.
At the time of his guilty plea, Caramadre admitted to the court that he, and a co-defendant, Raymour Radhakrishnan, an employee of Caramadre, made misrepresentations to terminally-ill and elderly patients and their family members in order to obtain their personal identity information. They used the information, including names; dates of birth; and social security numbers, to obtain more than 200 variable annuities and to open more than 75 brokerage accounts in order to purchase “death-put” bonds in the victims’ names without their knowledge and consent. Caramadre and Radhakrishnan either forged the signatures of terminally-ill people on account documents, or obtained by means of misrepresentations. When the terminally- ill person died, Caramadre and others reaped substantial profits by exercising death benefits associated with the investments.
“The road has been a long one, but the defendant’s quixotic and seemingly inexhaustible attempts to escape the consequences of his reprehensible criminal conduct are finally at an end,” commented United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha. “Perhaps he can spend the remainder of his six year prison sentence reflecting on his greed and his victimization of the most vulnerable, instead of dreaming up Hail Mary legal arguments.”
The matter was argued before the First Circuit Court of Appeals by Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald C. Lockhart. The criminal case was prosecuted in U.S. District Court by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lee H. Vilker and John P. McAdams.
The matter was investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office and the FBI, with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigation.