Attorneys for former Norwich accountant F. Robert LaSaracina have once again postponed a planned hearing date in an ongoing federal fraud and money-laundering case.
Originally scheduled for June 13, U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez has confirmed a meeting for July 15, allowing time, according to court records, “to permit a negotiated resolution and guilty plea.”
“A negotiated resolution and guilty plea will serve the ends of justice and outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial,” Martinez wrote. “Any further motions to continue shall include a more detailed showing of good cause.”
Federal charges were lodged against LaSaracina after an FBI investigation that stemmed from his alleged mishandling of a group’s trust fund accounts outlined in Norwich Probate Court proceedings. He faces one count each of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
The outcome of probate proceedings was allegations of fraud and an order for LaSaracina to pay back more than $4 million to the trust fund. He has appealed that decision.
But it remains only a part of LaSaracina’s troubles.
Lawsuits were filed from investors who claimed LaSaracina had taken advantage of them and used their investment money for his own purposes. Those cases are pending in civil court in New London.
The state Department of Revenue Services joined the fray and on Nov. 10 charged LaSaracina with eight counts of violating state income tax requirements by failing to file and pay withholding taxes for his own business, F. Robert LaSaracina CPA LLC, of West Town Street in Norwich, according to a statement issued by the state. He is due to appear June 27 in Hartford Superior Court to answer those charges.
LaSaracina is free on $500,000 bond in the federal case, but it is unclear how close to a resolution the case may be. It will be the third continuance request by LaSaracina’s attorneys from the law firm of Santos & Seeley P.C. of Hartford.
While the judge has indicated a July 15 hearing date, LaSaracina’s motion for continuance indicates a June 14 meeting to continue discussions with state prosecutors. There has not been an open hearing on the case yet.
By Greg Smith, The Bulletin
Source: The Bulletin