Joseph Mollicone Jr., a former investment banker at the Providence, R.I.-based Heritage Loan & Investment Co., was indicted Monday on 47 counts of fraud, embezzlement, and conspiracy, according to state Deputy Attorney General Tom Connell.
Mr. Connell said the indictment alleges that Mr. Mollicone, either alone or with unindicted co-conspirator Peter Iannuccilli, a former vice president at Heritage, defrauded Heritage out of $15.8 million over six years.
The indictment also alleges that Heritage's subsequent collapse toppled its private insurer, the Rhode Island Share and Deposit Indemnity Corp., thereby triggering the state's banking crisis last year.
Attorney General James E. O'Neil announced the indictment Monday by a grand jury after a 19-month investigation.
"The first six charges stem from one charge of embezzlement per year from 1985 through 1990," Mr. Connell said yesterday. "The remaining charges involve Mr. Mollicone and Mr. Iannuccilli's attempts to cover up the scheme."
Mr. Connell said that after an investigation into the bank's actions began, the two men attempted to move $1.15 million out of four large customer's accounts into the bank's general fund to make it look as if the books were intact.
Julius Michaelson and Robert B. Mann, lawyers representing Mr. Mollicone, were unavailable for comment.
Mr. Connell expects a preliminary hearing and pretrial disclosure conference to be held next Wednesday.
According to Mr. Connell, Mr. Mollicone's actions largely precipitated the Heritage investigation in late 1990 and the firm's shutdown on Jan. 1, 1991. Mr. Mollicone disappeared in early 1991, hiding out for 17 months before giving himself up to April 12.
Gov. Bruce G. Sundlun closed 45 banks and credit unions, freezing savings and checking accounts, after taking office on Jan. 1, 1991.
Most depositors have since regained their money, thanks in part to a bonding program through the Rhode Island Depositors Economic Protection Corp.