Harsh sentence sought for woman who took $5M from loved ones

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island woman who cheated relatives, her closest friends and her husband's firefighting colleagues out of nearly $5 million to fund a lavish lifestyle should face the harshest sentence possible, federal prosecutors said in a sentencing memorandum Thursday.

Monique Brady, 45, of East Greenwich, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Providence. She pleaded guilty in July to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and obstructing an IRS investigation.

The prosecutor in her case is asking a judge for more than 10 years in prison, the maximum under federal sentencing guidelines.

Brady's lawyer did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

The prosecutor wrote the sentence is justifiable because of the “insidious nature of defendant’s long-term fraud scheme, the unimaginable way in which she exploited close personal relationships to commit fraud, the devastating effects her fraud had on the victims, and the need for just punishment and adequate deterrence.”

Brady solicited investments for her real estate management company, which she said had contracts for large-scale rehabilitation work on properties across New England.

In reality, prosecutors said, Brady's firm was often hired by banks for small tasks like mowing grass or changing locks, and did no work on 98 of 171 projects for which she solicited investor funds.

She cheated 23 victims out of $4.8 million, prosecutors said, and used the money to buy a million-dollar home with a $9,400-per-month mortgage, vacations, and plastic surgery, among other luxuries.

“There was no motive for defendant’s conduct other than pure, unadulterated greed," the prosecutor wrote.

Her victims included her best friend from childhood, her best friend from law school, her stepbrother and a woman who was a grandmother-like figure to Brady’s children, authorities said.

Brady's husband was a Warwick firefighter, and three of her victims were his colleagues, they said.

Brady has shown no remorse and as authorities closed in on her, she bought a one-way ticket to Vietnam, prosecutors said.

Since she has been held, she has made 202 unauthorized phone calls from jail using the personal identification numbers of nine other inmates, prosecutors said.

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