Medford Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to State Prison in Connection with Defrauding Over 1,000 Donors to Disabled Veterans' and Retired Police Organizations
Defendant Also Pleads Guilty to Role in Drug Distribution Cases
Ronald Seeley, age 39, pled guilty to the charges late Wednesday afternoon in a telemarketing fraud case as well as additional charges in two separate cases of drug distribution.
In the telemarketing fraud case, Seeley pled guilty to the following charges:
- Larceny over $250 (5 counts)
- Attempted Larceny (2 counts)
- Conspiracy to Commit Larceny over $250 (4 counts)
- Conspiracy to Commit Forgery, Uttering (2 counts)
- Conspiracy to Commit Uttering
- Gross Fraud
- Deceptive Professional Solicitation Practices
In the first of the drug cases concerning conduct in 2007 and 2008, Seeley pled guilty to the following charges:
- Distribution of Methadone
- Possession of Controlled Substances (5 counts) (Cocaine, Marijuana, Amphetamine, Buprenorphine, and Dycyclomine.)
- Witness Intimidation
- Threats to Kill.
In the second of the drug cases concerning conduct in 2009, Seeley pled guilty to:
- Distribution of Morphine Sulfate (3 counts),
- Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (Hydrocodone)
- Possession of Controlled Substance (Trazodone)
- Drug Violation Near a School or Park (3 counts)
- Conspiracy to Violate the Drug Laws
After Seeley pled guilty to all of the above charges, Superior Court Judge Wendie Gershengorn sentenced Seeley to serve four and a half years to six and a half years in State Prison.
Seeley ran a telemarketing company called CMR Marketing (CMR), also known as All Star Marketing, based in Medford. Authorities discovered that he created an entire business and employed a staff to engage in an ongoing fraudulent scheme. Seeley admitted that between August 2006 and January 2008, he and his co-conspirators used fraudulent telemarketing and charitable solicitation practices to deceive and steal from over 1,000 donors who thought they were giving to veterans' and police charities. Seeley admitted that he and his co-conspirators instead stole donations and used the proceeds for their personal use.
Seeley, through his telemarketing company, was supposed to be engaged in charitable solicitations for the Veteran's Charitable Foundation (VCF), of Boynton Beach, FL, and a retired police officers organization. Instead, much of the money given by donors never made it to the veterans and retired police officers it was intended to benefit. The telemarketers used untruthful and misleading statements to take money from donors by false pretenses. These misrepresentations included false claims about the identities of the charities for which they were raising money, the use of those funds, the status of other charitable organizations, and the paid status of the telemarketing and charity staffs. In one example, while CMR/All Star was fundraising for VCF, Ronald Seeley, his son Brandon Seeley, and some of Seeley's employees would claim that they were affiliated with the New England Paralyzed Veterans Association (NEPVA), and that money raised would benefit that organization and would be used for particular purposes such as scholarships or phone cards.
Additionally, Seeley pled guilty to stealing donation checks payable to other charities and depositing those checks directly into VCF and All Star Marketing's bank accounts.
Seeley had also contracted to raise funds for the Retired Boston Police Officers' Association (RBPOA) beginning in December 2006. Under CMR's contract with RBPOA, CMR/All Star would solicit donations from potential donors, pick up the donations, and deposit them directly into RBPOA's bank account. Seeley admitted that he and a co-conspirator stole both financial and in-kind donations they solicited, as well as made fraudulent misrepresentations to obtain money from donors.
In August 2006, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation of Seeley's telemarketing company, CMR/All Star Marketing, after the matter was referred by a veterans' charitable organization. In addition, the Attorney General's Non-Profit/Public Charities Division had also received multiple complaints. Authorities used the latest in electronic surveillance, including wiretap capabilities, to intercept fraudulent solicitation calls made by Seeley and telemarketers working under his supervision.
In the course of that investigation, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office obtained information that Seeley was in the process of selling the drug Methadone to a customer. Seeley was charged with this distribution and pled guilty to this charge yesterday. Upon executing a search warrant at the offices of All Star/CMR Marketing in connection with the telemarketing investigation, the State Police found drugs that Seeley admitted belonged to him. On the same day Seeley was initially arraigned on these charges in Somerville District Court, he left a threatening message on the voicemail of a person he thought was involved in the investigation. Seeley also pled to charges related to this possession and intimidation.
In 2009, while under indictment and released on personal recognizance in the telemarketing fraud and drug cases, State Police began a new investigation of Seeley after receiving information that he was distributing drugs at times when he was due in court. In the course of that investigation, Seeley made two drug sales to an undercover State Trooper, and was in the course of a sale to another customer when he was arrested. When State Police executed a search warrant on Seeley's residence, additional drugs were found. Seeley yesterday pled guilty to charges arising from these 2009 sales and possession.
Two other defendants have pled guilty and have been sentenced in connection with the telemarketing fraud case. On June 4, 2009, George Borden, age 53, of Quincy, was sentenced to serve two and a half years in the House of Correction for his role in defrauding donors. On June 26, 2009, Seeley's son, Brandon Seeley, age 21, also of Medford, was sentenced to serve two and a half years in the House of Correction, with the sentence suspended for five years, for his role in defrauding donors. On January 22, 2010, Brandon Seeley's probation was revoked for failure to comply with his probation conditions. He is currently serving a sentence of two and a half years in the House of Correction.
Two other co-defendants have also been charged in connection with this case and their cases are still pending. William Lewis, age 57, of Brookline, NH, and Frank Cariello, age 70, of Boynton Beach, FL are charged as follows:
Larceny Over $250 (2 counts)
Attempted Larceny (2 counts)
Conspiracy to Commit Larceny (2 counts)
Deceptive Professional Solicitation Practices
Larceny Over $250 (2 counts)
Conspiracy to Commit Larceny over $250 (2 counts)
Deceptive Professional Solicitation Practices
The Attorney General's Non-Profit/Public Charities Division filed a civil suit in October 2008 in Suffolk Superior Court against VCF and received a preliminary injunction to prevent Veteran's Charitable Foundation from continuing to fundraise in Massachusetts. A guide for potential donors regarding charitable donations can be found on the Attorney General's website at http://www.mass.gov/Cago/docs/nonprofit/donating_dos_and_donts.pdf .
On August 4, 2008, a Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against all five men charged in the telemarketing case. On September 3, 2008, they were arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn and released on personal recognizance. Seeley was arraigned in the two drug cases on April 14, 2008, and October 5, 2009. On February 3, 2009, Ronald Seeley pled guilty to all three cases and was sentenced.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Marc Jones, of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Corruption and Fraud Division. Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office and Financial Investigator Jessie Julian Dean conducted the investigation. The Attorney General's Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division also provided assistance. The Massachusetts State Police Fusion Center also provided assistance with the investigation. NEPVA and RBPOA also cooperated fully in the course of the investigation.