I-Team: Judge rejects change of plea from Caramadre

Joseph Caramadre

A federal judge ruled Monday that a Cranston philanthropist charged with fraud cannot withdraw his guilty plea.

Joseph Caramadre had pleaded guilty to defrauding terminally ill patients, but then wanted to take it back claiming he was innocent.

Judge William Smith, visibly angry at the Cranston philanthropist, denied his request to withdraw his guilty plea, and then verbally slammed Caramadre and one of his lawyers.

Smith called Caramadre's request to withdraw his guilty plea "bizarre" and said Caramadre seemed like he had tell people he was innocent, when he was actually guilty.

Smith called Caramadre's lawyer Robert Watt's attempt to discredit Caramadre's original lawyers, "The worst hatchet job I've seen in years."

Smith also called out Caramadre for committing perjury when he, under oath, pleaded guilty and then came back two months later and said he lied when he pleaded guilty.

Caramadre and a partner pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy.

"It's time he took a look in the mirror. What he is, is a perjurer. As Judge Smith held today, most of all what he is, is plainly guilty," U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha said outside court.

Sentencing was set for July 9. Because of the plea agreement, Smith cannot sentence Caramadre to more than 10 years in prison.

But the judge made it clear that he was going to find a way to punish Caramadre for saying he lied when he pleaded guilty.

Caramadre and his partner stole the identities of terminally ill patients, using the information on investment products that made the two men millions.