SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

June 19, 2013

Former attorney for victims of plant explosion indicted

DANVERS — A lawyer who represented some business and property owners affected by the 2006 CAI ink plant explosion in Danversport has been indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on charges that he invented additional, fictitious victims of the disaster to swindle a finance company.

Peter Lagorio, 57, of Lynnfield, and another lawyer, Michael Germano, 49, of Wilmington are each facing more than 20 counts, stemming from a scheme to obtain approximately $1.4 million from businesses that offer advances on settlements, the Suffolk District Attorney’s office announced yesterday.

The lawyers, who attended law school together, had worked in the same office building on Atlantic Avenue in the North End, and both have since been disbarred, Lagorio last October and Germano in February.

Prosecutors allege that Lagorio, who as an attorney for some actual victims of the Danversport explosion had access to information on the $7 million settlement in the case, contacted finance companies that specialize in advances on legal settlements.

Lagorio invented additional “victims” using information from actual individuals who had no connection at all to the disaster, then claimed that he was awaiting settlement funds on their behalf, prosecutors allege. The finance company paid Lagorio the amounts he said he was expecting from the settlements for each of his purported clients, prosecutors allege.

Among the charges Lagorio is facing are 17 counts of uttering forged documents.

None of the actual Danversport claimants were victimized by the scheme, according to Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney, Dan Conley.

But the finance companies were out of pocket once they discovered that they could not actually recover any of the funds that were paid out to Lagorio on behalf of the fictitious clients, prosecutors allege.

In 2008, during a hearing to approve the $7 million settlement with CAI, Lagorio told a reporter that insurance companies for the affected businesses and homeowners had paid out between $20 and $25 million in claims to policyholders.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Comments Tracker