Judge John McConnell, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Rhode Island, denied Monique Brady’s second request in seven months for early release Friday, writing in his decision, “The Court could not say with any reasonable degree of confidence that Ms. Brady would abide by any of the restrictions that the Court would impose if it were to release her now.”
Monique Brady, a former East Greenwich resident, is serving 8 years in prison for defrauding friends and family members of millions of dollars in a real estate scheme. She applied for compassionate release from federal prison in Danbury, Conn., in November, citing health concerns and her ex-husband’s difficulty in caring for their minor children (they have four children, including a son with autism and a minor daughter).
It is the second such request since McConnell sentenced in February. At the time of her first request in March, she was still being held at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) because transfers to federal facilities had been put on hold due to the arrival of COVID-19. In that request, she asked to be released to home confinement because crowded conditions at the ACI would make spread of the virus more likely.
McConnell denied that request, saying there was nothing special about Brady’s situation and recalling she had tried to flee the country without her then husband or children before her arrest in May 2019.
In Friday’s ruling, McConnell said he did not find Brady’s assertions that she was particularly at risk because of her history of smoking and her ethnicity (she is Asian) compelling. Brady is 45 and is basically healthy, albeit depressed and anxious about her situation, according to court documents.
“She has not established extraordinary and compelling reasons for her release based on her medical or health condition,” McConnell wrote.
Her second argument – that her children were suffering the loss of their mother – McConnell found harder to assess. Brady’s ex-husband, a Warwick firefighter, had submitted a letter along with the motion for compassionate release. Without going into detail, McConnell said his letter “presented a heart-breaking narrative of the lives of the children Ms. Brady left behind.”
While difficult family circumstances can be a reason for compassionate release and “the impact of Ms. Brady’s incarceration on her children is immense,” McConnell said the children have the support of a loving father, supportive older siblings and economic means.
Brady has served 19 months of her 8-year sentence, about 20 percent. Noting her “complete failure to take any personal responsibility for the incredible hurt and damage she has caused her family,” McConnell wrote he did not think her short time in prison would have been enough for her rehabilitation.
He also wrote that “nothing has changed this Court’s opinion about the seriousness of the offense, or the tremendous betrayal of trust towards her friends and family that ‘invested’ with her.”
For these reasons and because of her past attempt to flee the country, McConnell denied Brady’s emergency motion for compassionate release.