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New indictments allege Toomajian received $659,525 in larceny scheme

Posted by Marcia Dick  March 17, 2011 06:43 AM

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toom.jpg The involvement of a top Malden mayor's aide in an alleged organized crime-linked embezzlement scheme deepened today when  prosecutors in the case revealed a statewide grand jury sitting in Boston had returned new indictments that detail how Charles Toomajian and three others conspired to steal more than $1.86 million from a Wakefield company.
 
Toomajian, 53, special assistant to Malden Mayor Richard C. Howard and a private attorney, was charged yesterday with conspiracy, larceny, receiving stolen property, and being an accessory after the fact to larceny, a felony, according to a statement issued by the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett. They are the second round of charges against Toomajian and his alleged cohorts, who were each brought up on lesser charges in October when arrests were first made in the case.
 
Investigators believe Toomajian received $659,525 in the scheme, and helped funnel the cash into the hands of two codefendants as payment for outstanding gambling debts owed by a third, Charles Davis, 44, of Salem, N.H. All are free on bail, according to the statement.

With the help of Toomajian, Davis embezzled more than $1.86 million from Randstad Professionals, a global staffing agency with an office in Wakefield, according to the DA's office.
 
The specific time frame in which investigators allege the theft occurred was not clear in yesterday’s announcement, but the previous indictment cited diverse dates between June 2008 and June 2009, according to court records.
 
Toomajian’s attorney, Thomas Drechsler, said his client maintains his innocence and will plead not guilty at his arraignment next month.
 
“I can say without reservation that my client denies those, as he did the previous charges,” said Drechsler, reached by phone. “We look forward to our day in court to prove his innocence.”
 

Davis was charged yesterday with conspiracy, larceny, and making false entries in corporate books. In October he was charged with larceny over $250 from a corporate entity and falsifying financial books, according to the state Attorney General's office.
 
Essex First Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley, who will prosecute the case, said in yesterday's statement that Davis worked as an account manager at Randstad's Wakefield office, where he allegedly orchestrated the theft of more than $1.86 million by falsifying books to pay gambling debts to Joseph Giallanella, 62, of North Andover, and Michael Petrillo, 56, of Peabody.

"The money would be laundered through Toomajian, who is an attorney," the statement said. As a way of making payments to Petrillo and Giallanella for the debts, Toomajian and Davis allegedly made payments toward mortgages in Giallanella's name, the statement said. Petrillo allegedly receive $308,000, the statement said.

For their roles, Giallanella was charged with conspiracy and being an accessory after the fact to larceny; Petrillo was charged with conspiracy, receiving stolen property, and being an accessory after the fact to larceny, the District Attorney's office said.
 
Petrillo is expected to be arraigned April 11 in Salem Superior Court. Toomajian, Davis, and Giallanella are due for arraignment the same day in Middlesex Superior court on the new charges.
 
All four were indicted initially last October, when authorities working with state Attorney General Martha Coakley's office returned charges on 31 suspects in the reputed crime ring, led by Mark Rossetti of East Boston, that allegedly engaged in gambling, marijuana distribution, and violent home invasion, in addition to the embezzlement and other alleged crimes.
 
In a recent interview, Rebecca Johnson, a spokeswoman for Randstad, said Davis departed the company voluntarily in July 2010, but did not specify if it was in relation to the investigation.
 
"We are in touch with several law enforcement agencies and completely cooperating in all their investigations," she said in a phone interview, but said that investigators did not specify that their inquiries regarded Davis.
 
"We're helping them wherever we can," she said.
 
The indictment last year shocked Malden officials, who said Toomajian, a former city solicitor, had an unblemished record and a solid reputation in the community.

Howard has appointment authority over Toomajian and is empowered by state ethics law to suspend a public official in his employ who is accused of a crime. The mayor has opted to keep Toomajian on the job since the first indictments, however, and said then that he will await further information in the case before deciding if he would suspend his aide.
 
In an interview Thursday, Howard said Toomajian's employment status has not change and he would await more specifics about the recent round of indictments, which have yet to be filed in Middlesex Superior Court, he said.

Howard expects to go before the City Council soon in an executive session to discuss the developments and issue a statement, similar to how he proceeded in October when his assistant was first indicted, although a firm date has not been set.

"I may be going at it more cautiously, but that's how I've decided to approach it as a boss, as an employer," he said. "As information is released, I will evaluate it."

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