Wynn land owner, a convicted felon, pleads not guilty to federal wire fraud charges

Associated Press

An owner of the land that Wynn Resorts is developing into a $1.6 billion casino pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal wire fraud charges in connection with the land deal.

Charles Lightbody, 54, of Revere, posted $50,000 bail and was released from custody. The convicted felon and known mob associate is also required to remain in Massachusetts, maintain his current residence, adhere to a 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. curfew and refrain from drinking alcohol excessively.

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Prosecutors anticipate Lightbody's trial could last three weeks and involve 20 to 25 witnesses.

Tim Flaherty, Lightbody's attorney, has dismissed the charges as "speculation and conjecture."

Lightbody and two partners — Dustin DeNunzio and Anthony Gattineri — are accused of trying to conceal the fact that he would be profiting from the multimillion-dollar land deal as a part owner of FBT Everett Realty LLC, the company that owns the 30-acre former Monsanto chemical plant site in Everett that Wynn plans to redevelop.

Prosecutors say the three created fraudulent documents in an effort to mislead state investigators and Wynn, which signed an option agreement on the land in December 2012 and has been paying FBT Everett Realty $100,000 a month for the right to eventually purchase the property for $35 million.

State law prohibits criminals from profiting from gambling facilities.

Lightbody, DeNunzio and Gattineri face charges of federal conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and aiding and abetting. They also face state charges that they impeded a Massachusetts Gaming Commission investigation and tampered with evidence.

DeNunzio and Gattineri pleaded not guilty to the charges last week. They are set to appear in court along with Lightbody in November.