Rhode Island woman who scammed friends, family in $10M Ponzi scheme gets 8 years

A Rhode Island property developer was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for operating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme in which she scammed her friends and relatives.

Monique N. Brady, 45, of East Greenwich, used her property preservation and rehabilitation business to solicit investors for large-scale projects between 2014 and 2018, according to court documents presented in court.

Monique Brady pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and obstructing an IRS investigation.

Monique Brady pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and obstructing an IRS investigation. (U.S. District Court)

Brady told the investors that the projects consisted of full-scale rehabilitations of foreclosed properties in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. She estimated the projects cost tens of thousands of dollars and promised investors they would receive half of the profits, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

But the projects actually cost far less than what Brady told investors. And in some cases, investors gave Brady funds for projects that did not exist.

The investors included friends and relatives, some of them of modest means, the Providence Journal reported, citing U.S. Attorney Lee Vilker.

“This was a particularly troubling and reprehensible case,” Vilker said. “We don’t have many cases where the victims are so close to the defendant – they were some of her best friends and loved ones – and she just really exploited their trust.”

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Of all of the properties Brady obtained funds to preserve, more than half were for properties her company was never hired to preserve and on which no work was ever performed, the DOJ said.

After the IRS opened an investigation into her activity, Brady asked her investors to delete all emails, texts, and documents relating to the rehabilitation projects.

Brady pleaded guilty on July 11, 2019, to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and obstructing an IRS investigation.

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U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell Jr. ordered Brady to serve an additional three years of supervised release and pay $4.78 million in restitution.