PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A federal judge has refused to vacate the guilty plea of an estate-planning lawyer accused of using the identities of terminally ill patients to illegally obtain millions of dollars.
Instead, U.S. District Judge William Smith on Monday ordered Joseph Caramadre to be taken into custody immediately.
Caramadre pleaded guilty four days into trial in November to single counts of wire fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors say Caramadre and an employee took out variable annuities and other investments that paid out when a person died, and lied to terminally ill people to get personal information used to purchase bonds and annuities in their names without consent.
Caramadre later tried to withdraw the guilty plea, saying he is actually innocent.
Smith called Caramadre's motion to withdraw his plea bizarre and without merit.