Criminal Justice News

Monday, May 07, 2012

Rhode Island Steelworks Contractor Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison in Multi-Million-Dollar Fraud Scheme

PROVIDENCE, RI—Mario Perretta, 36, of Cranston, Rhode Island, owner of M&M Ironworks in Providence, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence today to 96 months in federal prison for bilking nearly two dozen investors in his company out of nearly $4.3 million, announced United States 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.

U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. ordered Perretta to pay full restitution to the 23 victims he defrauded, totaling $4,275,745.83. Perretta was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration. Perretta pleaded guilty on January 31, 2012 to eight counts of wire fraud and two counts of tax evasion.

At the time of his guilty plea, Perretta admitted to the court that he promised investors high rates of return on investments into projects that did not exist. Instead, Perretta admitted that 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 admitted to the court 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 his company. Among the projects Perretta fraudulently claimed his company was involved in included the construction of a YMCA on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts and a construction project at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.

Perretta admitted to the court that he had an attorney draft promissory notes, which he gave to investors, outlining the terms of their investments and falsely promised a high rate of return, around 12-14 percent. Perretta admitted that he pressed investors to provide him with cash investments in M&M by falsely claiming 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.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis M. Matos. The matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.

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