Rhode Island developer asks court to dismiss white collar crime charges

A Rhode Island developer has asked a federal judge to dismiss bribery and conspiracy charges.

According to an FBI news release, on October 23, 2013, Narragansett, Rhode Island, real estate developer Richard P. Baccari, Sr., 71, was indicted on charges of conspiracy and bribery by a federal grand jury sitting in Providence. The jurors also indicted Baccari's company, Churchill and Banks Companies LLC, on the same charges.

The indictment stems from a well-publicized corruption investigation of North Providence municipal officers, three of whom are serving time for related federal kickback crimes, along with a lawyer convicted of being a middleman.

Defendant Baccari's indictment contains allegations that he and his company used a $50,000 bribe to these councilmen to get a change in zoning that would allow Baccari to develop a large grocery store.

The FBI says in its release that if Baccari and his company are convicted, these are the possible punishments:

  • Baccari: a conspiracy conviction could bring five years maximum in prison, a $250,000 maximum fine and three years maximum supervised release; a bribery conviction could bring 10 years maximum in prison, a $250,000 maximum fine and three years maximum supervised release.
  • Churchill and Banks Companies LLC: the company faces a maximum of $1 million in potential fines.

The Providence Journal Bulletin reports that in late May 2014 Baccari asked the federal judge assigned to his case to dismiss the charges based on malicious prosecution and false information before the grand jury that issued the indictment.

White collar crime defense

Nonviolent crimes of a financial nature like bribery are referred to collectively as white collar crimes. Other examples of white collar crime include tax fraud, embezzlement, insurance fraud, forgery, health care fraud, bank fraud, mail or wire fraud, and more.

Despite the lack of violence, a conviction for a white collar crime under either federal or state law can still bring severe penalties to the defendant like prison, fines, restitution and more. In addition, a white collar conviction tends to destroy the defendant's professional and personal reputation, potentially hurting him or her (along with his or her family) economically for years to come.

Because of the seriousness of white collar charges, anyone who suspects that he or she is being investigated for such crimes or who is already facing charges should seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal defense lawyer as early as possible. Evidence in a white collar criminal trial can be financial in nature and a defense attorney with white collar experience will be able to launch a counter-investigation, including detailed review of voluminous records and documents, if appropriate.

Keywords: Rhode Island, developer, white collar crime, conspiracy, bribery, Richard P. Baccari, Sr., indictment, kickback, federal crime, corruption, zoning, punishment, prison, fine, grand jury, penalty, nonviolent

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