March 13, 2013
Arrest And Suspension
The Rhode Island Supreme Court has suspended an attorney on an interim basis by consent.
RI.gov reported on related charges and the attorney's arrest:
...on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, members of the Financial Crimes Unit arrested attorney Janet A. Mastronardi, age 52, of Warwick, Rhode Island for Embezzlement and Unlawful Appropriation. The investigation, conducted by the Financial Crimes Unit, was the result of a complaint filed by a David Curtain, Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Rhode Island Supreme Court. Janet A. Mastronardi was taken into custody at her law office in Warwick.
In February 2012, the Financial Crimes Unit was notified that Janet Mastronardi had allegedly embezzled over $100,000 from an elderly client. Janet Mastronardi had been appointed guardian of the client in September 2005, as a result of the client's deteriorating health and mental condition. In January 2010, Janet Mastronardi closed two of her client's investment accounts and deposited the proceeds of $224,058.57 into two newly opened bank accounts. This money was never listed on her client's probate account. A review of Janet Mastronardi's bank accounts revealed that she stole $144,989.21 of her client's money by writing a series of 25 checks payable to herself over the next eleven months.
Janet A. Mastronardi was arrested at her law office, processed at the Lincoln Woods Barracks and arraigned at Third Division District Court on the above charges. She was released on $10,000 personal recognizance. If convicted, Janet Mastronardi faces up to a maximum of twenty years in prison and a $50,000 fine for the embezzlement charge and up to a maximum of twenty years and a $434,967.63 fine for the unlawful appropriation charge.
The court appointed disciplinary counsel to inventory the attorney's files. (Mike Frisch)
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