Chris Villani Saturday, April 30, 2016
Credit: Nancy Lane
A federal jury acquitted convicted felon Charles Lightbody and two codefendants of wire fraud charges in a case linked to the planned $2 billion Wynn casino in Everett.
The jury retuned its verdict early yesterday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Boston, unanimously acquitting Lightbody, along with former FBT Everett Realty partners Dustin DeNunzio and Anthony Gattineri.
The three had faced up to 20 years in federal prison if found guilty. They were accused of trying to conceal from Wynn Resorts Lightbody’s involvement in a $75 million land deal with Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn for the future Wynn Boston Harbor casino in Everett.
Prosecutors alleged the defendants tried to conceal Lightbody’s stake in 33 acres of waterfront land in Everett. Lightbody, a reputed mob associate, made the deal more toxic. The state’s casino law bars felons from profiting from gambling operations and Lightbody’s link would have torpedoed the pact. Defense attorneys argued Lightbody agreed to sell his stake to Gattineri in August 2012 so as not to jeopardize the deal.
The Wynn group was awarded a license for the gaming resort in 2014, beating out Mohegan Sun as well as racetrack operator Suffolk Downs.
After the verdict, Ken Leonetti of Foley Hoag, the attorney representing Mohegan Sun in its lawsuit against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, released a statement saying, “the testimony in this trial and the verdict delivered today raise immediate and important questions about the Gaming Commission’s process, and whether the MGC’s suitability review of Wynn was thorough and its findings accurate.”