Accused of allegedly participating in a mortgage scheme that resulted in $20,000 in illegal profits, suspended police officer Chester J. Ardolino and former city worker Michael J. Hutchison, both of Springfield, pleaded not guilty a second time to fraud and money laundering charges. Their trial is scheduled to begin November 29, 2004 in U.S. District Court. The plea was to a superseding indictment to cover anticipated changes in federal sentencing laws.
Ardolino is accused of providing Hutchison’s sister with false employment records from a bar he owned an interest in to help her obtain a mortgage. Both men are accused of conspiring to produce falsified paperwork to support the loan and inflate the value of the property at 11-15 Belmont Place, Springfield, Massachusetts, then splitting the profits from a bogus sale. The defense argues that Ardolino and Hutchison entered into a partnership, fixed up the home and made regular payments on the mortgage.