Federal jury acquits defendants on Everett casino land case

Wynn bought the land to build a US$2 billion casino.
Wynn bought the land to build a US$2 billion casino.

Lightbody, DeNunzio and Gattineri were acquitted from charges connected to the sale of Everett land to Wynn Resorts.

US.- A federal jury acquitted Charles A. Lightbody, Dustin DeNunzio and Anthony Gattineri from scheming to conceal Lightbody’s financial interest in an agreement for the sale of Everett land to Wynn Resorts, where the company plans to build a US$2 billion casino.

After the testimony of over 15 witnesses, three weeks of testimony, hundreds of pages of documents and hours of tape recordings, the jury, selected on April 11, deliberated for around six hours to reach the verdict.

Prosecutors alleged that property and bank records were forged by the three owners of the property, to make it appear as if Lightbody sold his 12 percent interest in the Everett property to Gattineri, prior to the US$75 million deal to sell the land the group closed with Wynn in December 2012. This scheme would have been carried out to prevent Lightbody’s criminal past and known association with Mafia from ruining the deal with Wynn. Massachusetts law clearly forbids felons from earning a profit from any gambling operations within the state.

On the other hand, the defendant’s attorneys argued that Lightbody had transferred his 12 percent interest in the Everett property months prior to the Wynn deal. Even though they acknowledged that the transactions were only recorded by DeNunzio in July 2013, attorneys said there was nothing wrong with backdating documents to properly reflect the date that a deal was reached. Furthermore, there wasn’t a specific law preventing Lightbody from benefitting from the casino deal, which nullified the argument by the prosecutors that Wynn and the state Gaming Commission were victims of fraud.