Should it be morally wrong to profit from the death of a stranger? What about criminally wrong? What if they’re terminally ill? What if you give them money in order to use their death to reap a profit? These were the core questions in the trial of Joseph Caramadre, who has been sentenced to six years in federal prison more than a year after pleading guilty in the scheme. [More]
Hey, remember the Rhode Island lawyer who was charged with wire fraud and identity theft for using strangers’ deaths as an investment vehicle? As his sentencing date approaches, he’s filed papers to rescind his guilty plea and request a new trial. His guilty plea came with a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, but he maintains his innocence. [More]
Depending on your point of view, Joseph Caramadre of Cranston, R.I. is either an opportunist who scammed the terminally ill, or a great philanthropist who found a win-win loophole and made last few months of the dying easier and more comfortable. The federal prosecutors who charged him with wire and mail fraud leaned toward the former. [More]
Imagine that you, your spouse, or a beloved relative is terminally ill. A man approaches you and asks whether your family would be interested in a little proposition. Your relative would need to provide their name, Social Security number, and a signature or two. In return, they would receive a few thousand dollars. Sounds like an identity theft scheme, doesn’t it? Only it was all perfectly legal. No families were swindled, no fake credit cards were opened. The lawyer behind this scheme was taking advantage of a loophole in the rules of a specific type of life insurance product, variable annuities. Investors used a system intended to protect a large nest egg for future generations to profit without having to die.