Joseph Caramadre, an estate planner and philanthropist, was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for stealing the identities of terminally ill patients and using that information to defraud insurance companies.
Caramadre, wearing prison khakis, sat without expression as federal Judge William E. Smith imposed the prison term, along with 3,000 hours of community service. Smith ordered Caramadre to perform the community service in a way that would benefit the elderly and terminally ill patients.
Government prosecutors claim Caramadre and his partner defrauded insurance companies up to $46 million in the 15-year scheme. Caramadre will have to pay restitution, but the amount will be determined at a later date.
Smith rejected the government's recommendation to sentence Caramadre to 10 years in prison, the maximum allowed under the plea deal Caramadre agreed to.
But the judge said he didn't want to "destroy the possibility" of Caramadre going back to some type of work when he gets out of prison and being able to begin to pay restitution.
One government prosecutor said that "Caramadre committed a massive fraud" and that he "lied to insurance companies over and over again."
Smith looked at Caramadre and said, "You treated terminally ill patients as commodities." He added that Caramadre failed to realize the emotional pain he caused the families of the terminally ill.
Before he heard his sentence, Caramadre addressed the court and said, "I apologize to the families of the terminally ill." But he refused to admit guilt, even though he pleaded guilty in November.
Caramadre attempted to withdraw his guilty plea. His request was denied by the court. Caramadre is appealing that ruling at the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.
Caramadre's business partner, Raymour Radhakrishnan, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and an additional six months of home confinement during a period of three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha said he was "disappointed" with the six-year prison sentence. He said of Caramadre, "Joe Caramadre saw death as a holiday. He saw it as a cause of celebration. He saw it as an opportunity to make money."
Caramadre has been imprisoned at the Wyatt Detention Center. The judge said he will recommend he serve his sentence at a prison that is relatively close to Rhode Island. Caramadre has a wife, two sons and a daughter. One son has a medical condition.
Radhakrishnan is free on bail. He was ordered to surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service on Jan. 13.