I-Team: Lawyer testifies against former client
A Cranston philanthropist who last fall pleaded guilty todefrauding terminally ill patients to make millions for himself and investors,had the tables turned on him Monday in U.S. District Court.
Joseph Caramadre wants to withdraw his guilty plea. He claimshis lawyers for his trial last fall gave him bad advice, convincing him toplead guilty when he was actually innocent.
In court Monday, one of Caramadre's former lawyers MichaelLepizzara, painted a less than flattering picture of his former client.
Lepizzara called Caramadre an "overwhelming client," who wasobsessed with criticizing the way the government conducted it's years-longinvestigation into Caramadre and one of his business associates.
Lepizzara said, "Caramadre told me I'm the smartest man inthe room and I know everything."
Caramadre, a lawyer and investment adviser, stole the identities of terminally illpatients. He got their loved ones to agree to letting Caramadre use theterminally ill patient's names on annuities that contained death benefits.Caramadre and his investors were made the beneficiaries. When the terminallyill patients died, the investors made millions, according to the government.
Lepizzara said while he and another attorney tried to getCaramadre to focus on helping to prepare his defense, Caramadre wanted topursue a malicious prosecution claim against the government.
The change of plea hearing is being held before U.S.District Court Judge Willam Smith.