PROVIDENCE — A federal judge has ordered a former East Greenwich attorney to serve eight years in federal prison and pay $4.78 million back to her victims after she participated in a Ponzi scheme that helped fund her lavish lifestyle.
The woman, 45-year-old Monique N. Brady, was issued the sentence Tuesday before U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. She was previously convicted of the charge after pleading guilty on July 11, 2019, to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and obstructing an IRS investigation.
“Monique Brady took advantage of the trust many, many people put in her, with total disregard for the path of personal pain and financial ruin she left behind. Her conduct was reprehensible and heartbreaking,” said U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman.
According to court documents, Brady admitted to the court that among those she defrauded were close friends in her community, a close childhood friend, a child care provider for her children, an elderly Alzheimer’s patient, her stepbrother, and three firefighters.
Brady, whose company, MNB, specialized in preserving the condition of foreclosed homes for resale, told investors that her company had secured contracts for large-scale rehabilitation projects on foreclosed properties in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In reality, MNB was hired by banks to perform menial tasks such as mowing grass, changing locks, winterizing properties, boiler or electrical inspections, and snow removal.
Court documents said that by the time the scheme ended after its discovery in the summer of 2018, 23 individuals had lost approximately $4.8 million to Brady. An investigation by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation revealed that of the 171 properties for which Brady solicited and received funds from investors, 98 were for properties her company was never hired to preserve and for work that was never performed.
Investigators said they eventually determined that Brady had used the $10.3 million Ponzi scheme to finance "an extravagant lifestyle" that included a $1 million home, numerous expensive trips abroad, multiple trips to the Super Bowl, and luxury items such as a collection of Louis Vuitton shoes."
Court records said Brady also admitted to attempting to obstruct an Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation when, after being told by the IRS, she asked investors to delete or destroy all email correspondence, texts, and documents relating to their investments.
She then secured a meeting with the Attorney General and the Rhode Island State Police through her attorney, requesting they investigate the victims of this case for usury. She also later purchased a one way ticket to Vietnam once she realized she would be indicted, and attempted to move that flight up as the indictment drew nearer.
Officials arrested her one day before that flight, documents said.