PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – An East Greenwich woman accused of bilking family and friends out of millions of dollars pleaded guilty to three counts in federal court on Thursday after striking a plea deal with prosecutors.
Monique Brady, 44, is guaranteed prison time when she is sentenced on Oct. 17 because one of the counts – aggravated identity theft – comes with a minimum of two years behind bars.
Brady was led into the courtroom wearing her orange prison suit; she has been held at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls since her arrest earlier this year. A federal judge held her after prosecutors raised concerns that she was attempting to flee to Vietnam to avoid charges.
Brady was indicted by a grand jury in April. Investigators said she “raised and pocketed millions of dollars from investors, including close friends, a family member, and business associates,” by asking them to invest in home improvement projects.
U.S. District Judge Jack McConnell accepted Brady’s change of plea and explained to her that he can impose a sentence between two and 25 years.
Here’s what happens next: Brady will be interviewed at the Wyatt by probation officials, who will file a pre-sentence report with the courts. That report will have a guideline range that will include the amount of money victims lost.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Vilker said in court 22 victims lost $4.7 million in the scheme.
Vilker said many of the victims had “close personal relationships with Brady including close friends from East Greenwich community,” as well as family and former law school colleagues. He also said three Warwick firefighters were among those who had lost money and an “an elderly man with Alzheimer’s disease.”
Brady’s husband, Thomas Brady, is a Warwick firefighter. He was in court on Thursday to watch the proceedings.
Vilker asked Judge McConnell to block out extra time on sentencing day because victims are expected to give impact statements.
In all, Vilker said 31 people gave Brady more than $10 million for these investment projects that were pitched under false pretenses. She would often pay investors back with money from others that thought they were giving to fund a rehab project.
As an example, Brady said she needed $47,000 to redo a Warwick home, and was able to get five people to hand over that amount each, collecting $235,000 in all.
Records show Brady solicited money for 171 projects, when 98 of them were fake.
Brady’s attorney, Joanne Daley, declined comment after the hearing.