I-Team: No letters of support for Caramadre before sentencing (RI)

At one point in his life, estate planner and lawyer, Joseph Caramadre, was a well-known and well-liked philanthropist, who donated huge sums of money to the Catholic church and supported many non-profit groups like Big Brothers of Rhode Island and the Boy Scouts.

But now, less than two weeks away from being sentenced for stealing the identities of terminally ill patients and using their information in an investment scheme that made him and his investors millions, Caramadre’s popularity has apparently taken a nose dive.

The NBC 10 I-Team searched the federal court files to determine if anyone wrote letters on behalf of Caramadre or his partner, Raymour Radhakrishnan. Typically, defendants have friends and loved ones write letters to the sentencing judge, attesting to their otherwise good character and ties to the community.

But so far, no one has written on Caramadre’s behalf.

Raymour Radhakrishnan, on the other hand, received letters from 18 people, including his mother.

“Raymour was absolutely enthralled with Mr. Caramadre. He would come home every weekend with stories of meeting businessmen and women, politicians and social activists. As far as the business was concerned, we were told by Raymour and his girlfriend’s father that Caramadre was an expert in insurance and financial products and had found a way to profit from death,” said Julie Radhakrishnan.

Other letters came from a former college roommate, a CPA, and a letter from the Defy Ventures group in New York City. Defy Ventures is a non-profit organization that gives people with criminal histories a second chance.

Raymour Radhakrishnan has been working there for about six months.

“Raymour has not only been contrite about his case but has already begun the process of bettering himself and others moving forward,” said Ryan Holly of Defy Ventures.

Caramadre found loopholes in annuity insurance policies that allowed investors to use annuitants, who were not related to them, to become the beneficiaries in case of death. While that practice was legal, both Caramadre and Raymour Radhakrishnan convinced terminally ill patients to fill out detailed annuity applications with death benefits, even though, according to the government, the terminally ill patients didn’t realize what they were doing.

Caramadre pleaded guilty to defrauding terminally ill patients and forgery, three days into his trial. He later tried to withdraw his plea, but after lengthy hearings, the judge and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston denied his change of plea request.

Under the plea deal with the government, Caramadre and Raymour Radhikrishnan cannot be sentenced to more than 10 years in prison. But the federal judge can deviate from the plea deal.

A federal magistrate is recommending to the sentencing judge, Judge William Smith, that Caramadre pay $46 million in restitution.

Caramadre has a long list of investors.

One of those investors involved U.S. Rep. James Langevin who loaned money to a relative and that relative invested it with Caramadre.


I-Team: No letters of support for Caramadre before sentencing
Jim Taricani
December 5, 2013