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Former Malden mayor's aide pleads guilty to two charges; could face 7 years in prison

Posted by Marcia Dick  May 13, 2013 04:11 PM

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A former Malden mayoral aide and city solicitor could face seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty Monday in Middlesex County Superior Court to charges stemming from a money laundering scheme with ties to organized crime.

charlest.jpgCharles Toomajian, 55, pleaded guilty to larceny and accessory after the fact to a felony after procecutors agreed to drop conspiracy charges he also faced. Appearing before Judge Jane Haggerty, prosecutors said they are seeking a 5- to 7-year sentence. Toomajian also could be ordered to pay up to $350,000 in restitution when he is sentenced May 28.

During his time as a municipal employee, Toomajian also maintained a private law office in Malden. The investigation linked all of the criminal activity to the law firm and did not connect any of the charges to his work for the City of Malden.

Investigators say the multifaceted criminal organization was led by Mark Rossetti of East Boston, who last month pleaded guilty to usury and extortion and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Toomajian was one of 31 people charged in what investigators called the "Rossetti Criminal Organization," which was connected to heroin and cocaine trafficking, marijuana distribution, loan sharking, extortion, embezzlement, and gambling.

According to the indictments, Toomajian served as an intermediary between Charles Davis of Stoneham, who allegedly owed large gambling debts, and bookmaker Joseph Giallanella of North Andover, who along with Davis also was charged as a member of Rossetti's network, prosecutors said.

Davis worked for staffing company Randstad Professionals in Wakefield, where he had access to the corporate checkbook. To pay off his gambling debts, he wrote company checks, which were deposited into an account at Toomajian's private law practice.

Toomajian filtered the money to Giallanella and his alleged associates for Davis, sometimes by making mortgage payments on a home Giallanella owned. Prosecutors also said he wrote checks to individuals who would place bets for Davis with area bookies. 

Davis needed others to place the bets because every bookmaker in the Boston area had shut him off due to his substantial debts, prosecutors said.

In all, Toomajian's law practice account received 47 checks totalling $659,525 from Randstad between 2006 and 2009, and checks from Toomajian's firm were distributed to pay off Davis's debts and finance his gambling, prosecutors said. The money connected to Toomajian's account is about one-third of the total $1.86 million prosecutors say Davis embezzled from Randstad. Prosecutors said they believed Toomajian received Ramstad checks as early as 2004.

At the time Toomajian was initially indicted in October 2010, he was working as a special assistant to then-mayor Richard Howard, and he had previously spent about a decade as the city solicitor. 

Howard elected not to run for reelection in 2011, and became the Winchester town manager in January 2012. He could not be reached for comment.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at Bencks.Globe@gmail.com.

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