Top Attorney Wistow Urged Criminal Charges Be Levied on 38 Studios, But AG and RISP Did Not Pursue

Thursday, June 08, 2017


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Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Col. Steven O'Donnell

One of Rhode Island's top attorneys, Max Wistow, told the Rhode Island State Police that the State of Rhode Island had grounds for pursuing a criminal case against 38 Studios, according to a four-year-old Rhode Island State Police email released on Wednesday.

See Email BELOW

Ten months after GoLocal filed for the release of State Police records and eight months after filing a lawsuit, the State Police document dump of hundreds of pages unveils that the lead attorney in the state’s civil claims against some of the state’s leading law firms and America’s top financial firms had urged the pursuit of criminal charges against 38 Studios and laid out the legal issues.

Case Made for Criminal Wrongdoing, State Police Ignored

Wistow, who successfully recovered over $60 million in civil actions, was functionally ignored by Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Colonel Steven O’Donnell.

In an email from then-Major Todd Catlow to then-Colonel O’Donnell, Catlow wrote, “Attorney Wistow believes 38 Studios obtained the loan financing from the state under false pretenses due to financial projections in the closing documents that are based on the distribution of $75 million in gross rather than the $57 million in net proceeds that were actually disbursed. At the time of the projections were prepared 38 studios expected the gross amount, by the time the loan closed 38 Studios knew they would receive the net amount. The projections never changed.”

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In the email Catlow goes on to write, “We will discuss the points raised in the meeting with AAG Youngs and keep an open mind about their positions (Wistow and his associates). I should note that that we see a myriad of potential defenses to a prosecution under the proposed theory.”

It should be noted that Catlow is not an attorney. He has a Master’s degree in taxation from Bryant University according to his LinkedIn profile. Efforts to reach Catlow were unsuccessful.

SLIDES: See Latest Emails Released June 7 BELOW

The release of the email raises more questions about the effort made by the Rhode Island Attorney General to pursue criminal charges. 

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Previously, Governor Raimondo has stated that Kilmartin should have recused himself from participating in the case, as he voted for the legislation and just four month earlier had served in the House Leadership team as the Democratic House Whip.

GoLocal continues to pursue the release of additional documents and filled that the Office of Public Safety and the Rhode Island State Police have continued to refuse to release.


Related Slideshow: RISP #1 EMAILS RELEASED June 7, 2017


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