Real Estate Developer Admits Role in Bank Bribery Scheme

November 25, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RICHARD R. GIROUARD, 55, a Connecticut real estate developer residing in Norwalk, Connecticut and Stuart, Florida, pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to one count of an indictment charging GIROUARD with conspiring to commit financial institution bribery.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately October 2001 and February 2007, GIROUARD, attorney Paul A. Aparo and Kevin J. O’Keefe, an officer at Fleet Bank (now Bank of America), engaged in a bribery scheme in connection with Fleet Bank’s business.

In 2002, Fleet Bank owned almost half (49.12 percent) of an entity known as “LINC Receivables.” LINC Receivables was the owner of certain leases and installment sales contracts that produced a stream of revenue, and O’Keefe was the officer at Fleet Bank responsible for overseeing Fleet Bank’s interest in LINC Receivables. That same year, Aparo, who was GIROUARD’s lawyer, and O’Keefe approached GIROUARD about his interest in purchasing Fleet Bank’s interest in LINC Receivables. O’Keefe informed GIROUARD that if GIROUARD could raise the capital, GIROUARD’s company would be selected by Fleet Bank to purchase its share of LINC Receivables. The Girouard company set up to purchase LINC Receivables was called “RRG Investments, LLC.”

In pleading guilty, GIROUARD admitted that he agreed to pay an entity controlled by Aparo, called “Lexington Associates,” 15 percent of the profits from RRG Investments’ purchase of Fleet Bank’s share of LINC Receivables. GIROUARD acknowledged that he made payments of between $400,000 and $1 million to Lexington Associates, knowing that Aparo, in turn, would pay O’Keefe to influence and reward him for his assistance with the LINC Receivables transaction.

Judge Covello has scheduled sentencing for March 4, 2009, at which time GIROUARD faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. GIROUARD also agreed to forfeit to the government property with a value of at least $2 million, and to make restitution of at least $427,000 to the victim of a separate scheme that is alleged in the indictment.

O’Keefe and Aparo also have pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit financial institution bribery. Each awaits sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric J. Glover and David Novick.

United States Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut
Contact: (203) 821-3700

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