Legal Ethics

Paralegal, Postal Inspector Face Perjury Charges re Alleged Secret Romance During Lawyer's Trial


A postal inspector and a paralegal who allegedly had a secret romance while working on opposing sides during a lawyer’s mortgage fraud trial have been charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in federal court in Massachusetts.

Joseph M. McGonagle III, 37, and Melanie M. Abbruzzese, 31, are accused of lying under oath about their relationship during the federal mortgage fraud trial of Eric Levine, reports the Boston Globe.

Sentenced to up to 12 years in prison, Levine is seeking a new trial on the grounds that the claimed “secret romantic relationship” interfered with his defense.

Jeffrey Denner of Denner Pellegrino, the law firm that defended Levine, tells the newspaper that Abbruzzese no longer works for his firm and says the potential issue of a connection between McGonagle and Abbruzzese was first brought to light by attorney Isaac Borenstein, who represented Levine. Borenstein also is no longer with the firm.

The article doesn’t include any comment from the defendants or their counsel.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Gets 12 Years in $10.6M Mortgage Fraud; Another Attorney Awaits Sentencing”

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