PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Federal prosecutors are recommending more than a decade behind bars for an East Greenwich woman who is accused of defrauding “her closest friends and family members” of $4.8 million, saying she has shown a complete lack of remorse for her actions.
In a strongly worded sentencing memorandum filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Vilker wrote Monique Brady deserves to be sentenced to more than 10 years — above the recommended guidelines — because of “the insidious nature of defendant’s long term fraud scheme.”
Vilker is asking for 121 months including a mandatory minimum of two years for the charge of aggravated identity theft.
“Brady’s conduct was among the most disturbing seen in this District from a fraud defendant,” Vilker wrote in the filing. “For years on end, Brady spent her time deceiving her closest friends and family members into believing that she was conducting large scale rehabilitation projects on foreclosed properties throughout the region.”
Brady, 45, has pleaded guilty to charges that she solicited investments for renovation and cleanup projects at 171 properties, but “98 were for properties for which Brady did no work whatsoever.”
“She regularly convinced multiple people to invest in the same project, each falsely believing that they were the only investor on the project and that an actual project existed,” Vilker wrote. “The Government has identified 23 individuals who collectively lost approximately $4.8 million to Brady.”
In her own sentencing memorandum, Brady’s attorney Joanne Daly is asking the court for three years in prison, followed by three years of probation.
“Monique is determined to do that and to make up for what she has done to so many people in this case,” Daley wrote. “She knows that she has utterly betrayed the people who trusted her with their money, including her own family.”
Prosecutors said victims of the scheme never did any due diligence on Brady’s claims because they had a close relationship with her.
“What makes Brady’s conduct even more reprehensible is that she showed no hesitation in stealing from people who were struggling financially who Brady knew would suffer gravely from having their life savings erased,” wrote Vilker.
Among the victims listed in the court document is a 67-year-old woman who prosecutors say Brady knew was caring for her quadriplegic husband and her elderly parents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The woman “lost her savings and her parents’ life savings to Brady.”
The court filing includes photos of Brady’s million-dollar East Greenwich home that prosecutors say was funded with ill-gotten gains, and she went on extravagant trips “to Mexico, a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands, trips to England and France as well as multiple trips to the Super Bowl. She paid $17,750 in cash for elective plastic surgery from money she received from a victim.”
Prosecutors included photos of Brady on vacation, along with a picture of her standing next to New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.
Among the victims were several Warwick firefighters where her former husband — also named Thomas Brady — works. (The couple last year divorced, which became final in October, according to court documents).
“Brady’s path of destruction showed no distinction between the well-off and the poor,” wrote Vilker.
In her filing, Brady’s attorney gave a long history of the defendant’s upbringing, pointing out she had a rough upbringing. Daly wrote Brady was a refuge from Vietnam in 1975, and was the child of an abusive father who bit off his own ring finger when he learned his wife was having an affair.
Brady said she vowed to give her children a better life than she had.
In her memo she asked to be released from prison – where she has been held since her arrest in July – so she could get her affairs in order.
But prosecutors said when Brady learned of the investigation into her scheme, she attempted to flee to Vietnam with her attorney Kevin Heitke, who they described as her “paramour,” by purchasing a one-way ticket.
“In this case, it also bears noting that Brady was apparently willing to abandon her children when she attempted to flee to Vietnam as the charges against her were imminent,” wrote Vilker.
Brady denied she was running from the law, but rather wanted to visit an ailing grandmother who her attorney said has since died.
“She wants the Court to know that she would never abandon her children,” Daley wrote.
Brady has denied she intended to flee and was going to see an ailing relative, but Magistrate Judge Lincoln Almond deemed her a flight risk and held her behind bars pending trial last year.
Prosecutor also say Brady and Heitke paid a visit to the R.I. Attorney General’s office in an attempted to get state prosecutors to go after the victims in this case, claiming they owed her money. They also claim she asked people to destroy potential evidence.
“Upon being advised that she was the target of a criminal investigation, the first thing Brady did was to contact the victims and concoct a bogus story in an effort to convince them to destroy the documents she had previously sent them concerning their investments with her,” prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors also allege Brady’s deception continued while behind bars.
“She is one of the only female inmates at the Wyatt Detention Center who was causing such problems that the Warden requested that she be transferred out of the facility,” Vilker wrote. “Discipline problems included improperly facilitating communications between two inmates deemed to be a safety risk and engaging in hours long meetings with her paramour in the guise of her attorney.”
She was transferred to the ACI, where she was disciplined for “making 202 unauthorized phone calls using the personal identification numbers of nine different inmates.”
“How she was able to convince these 9 other inmates to provide her with their PINs is unknown,” wrote Vilker.
Brady pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud, obstruction of justice and aggravated identity theft. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday before U.S. District Chief Judge John McConnell.