Attorneys for Revere’s Charlie Lightbody have filed a motion in Federal Court alleging that Wynn Everett officials knew in advance of his previous involvement with the Everett casino site long before they moved to purchase the land, and used the controversy to knock off $40 million from the sale price.
Such a revelation, if proven true, would seemingly nullify the allegations that Lightbody tried to hide his alleged ownership interest, and alleged off-the-books ownership interest, from investigators and Wynn officials.
Lightbody’s 20-page filing came late last week in Boston Federal Court, with co-defendants Dustin DeNunzio and Anthony Gattineri, and was in response to subpoenas filed by the City of Boston in its case against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC).
Lightbody, DeNunzio and Gattineri are currently under federal and state indictment for wire fraud and conspiracy related to the casino land deal and an alleged scheme to hide Lightbody’s involvement.
“On the one hand, the government is claiming in this case that the defendants conspired to conceal from Wynn officials Lightbody’s alleged ownership interest in the Everett Parcel,” read the filing. “On the other hand, it is evident from the (MGC’s) Investigative Enforcement Bureau testimony of Steve Tocco and (Everett) Mayor (Carlo) DeMaria that Wynn’s representative, ML Strategies, was not only aware of the existence of Charles Lightbody but also was actively engaged in discussions about Lightbody’s involvement in FBT. If the IEB was on notice that members of ML Strategies discussed Lightbody’s involvement in FBT, the federal government was on notice of this information by virtue of the joint state / federal nature of the investigation.”
One of the key allegations in the filing is that two high-level Wynn officials learned in 2012 about Lightbody’s ownership, long before Wynn executed a purchase and sale agreement with the three owners of record – DeNunzio, Gattineri and Paul Lohnes.
In Grand Jury testimony secured by attorneys for the defendants, a manager for the land ownership corporation, James Michael Flood, testified that Wynn Legal Counsel Kim Sinatra and Wynn President Matt Maddox met with DeNunzio and himself in a trailer on the site in the fall of 2012.
Public knowledge of Wynn’s interest in Everett didn’t come until December 2012. When asked if there was a conversation about the property owners, he said he believed there was.
“I believe that there was a conversation kind of in passing as we were closing the – as we were, you know, finishing up the meeting, they said something to the effect of, you know, nobody with a sketchy past can be involved in the process or in the project as an owner,” Flood testified. “And to my best memory, at that time Dustin said, ‘Yes, you know, we have a partner who has a checkered past, but we’re in the process of getting him out of the property.’”
Grand Jury testimony of Steve Tocco of ML Strategies, which represents Wynn in Massachusetts, suggested that a conversation in passing happened between he and Everett Mayor DeMaria concerning Lightbody’s possible involvement. That short conversation, Tocco testified, took place in passing when his team got a surprise request from a Boston Business Journal reporter about any possible “secret” owners. In Tocco’s testimony, he said Mayor DeMaria asked if they were talking about “Lightbody.”
The filing also addresses the issue brought out in allegations by the City of Boston in subpoenas issued two weeks ago of State Troopers and former State Troopers who allegedly infiltrated the State Police secure records room while working for Wynn to find out about the state investigation into Lightbody.
An California attorney for Steve Wynn vigorously denied the allegation and threatened to sue the City of Boston for defamation of character due to the allegation.
Lightbody’s attorney said that two former State Troopers, Joseph Flaherty and Stephen Matthews, were allegedly working as private investigators for Wynn to find out about Lightbody. It is alleged they were given access to the Lightbody investigation case file.
“The Defendants have reason to believe that Flaherty and Matthews were allegedly working for Wynn, either directly or through ML Strategies or Mintz Levin, at the time of the alleged incident,” read the filing. “Flaherty is the son-in-law of former Massachusetts Attorney General Francis (Frank) Bellotti, who is of counsel at Mintz Levin. The defendants have reason to believe that Flaherty has performed private investigative work for Mintz Levin for years. Matthews is a former high-ranking member of the Massachusetts State Police whose brother, Frank Matthews, currently serves as the Head of the Division of Investigative Services within the Massachusetts State Police.”
Another piece of interest in the filing is that the defendants believe that Wynn used the controversy surrounding Lightbody’s alleged ownership to reduce the price of the land.
“The fact that private investigators working for Wynn, either directly or through ML Strategies, were given access to files of an ongoing criminal investigation of Lightbody’s alleged ownership interest in the Everett Parcel raises serious questions as to the integrity of the joint state / federal investigation,” read the filing. “This collaborative arrangement is particularly troubling in light of the fact that Wynn, with the active involvement of the Gaming Commission, leveraged the allegation that Lightbody was still involved in FBT to impose a $40 million reduction in the purchase price of the Everett Parcel from FBT.”
Attorneys have asked for a hearing into the newly revealed information in Federal Court at the earliest convenient time.