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Sunday, October 13 Local

Greenwich philanthropists charged with felony financial crimes

GREENWICH — Police arrested a married couple from Cos Cob on a warrant from Louisiana, accusing them of serious financial crimes.

Officers went to their residence on Cognewaugh Road and made the arrests Tuesday afternoon.

Deadra Bastarache, 61, and Mark Pucci, 71, were taken into custody on the warrant issued from authorities in Baton Rouge. The two were charged with the theft over $25,000, money laundering and criminal conspiracy.

According to a statement from the Louisiana Department of Justice sent by email, “Our Louisiana Bureau of Investigation (LBI) agents conducted a joint investigation with the Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions (OFI) relative to complaints from two victims who claimed to have been defrauded out of $675,000 by Pucci and Bastarache. Based on their investigative efforts, LBI Agents determined that Pucci and Bastarache concocted an investment scheme to obtain money from the victims based on their proposal to invest in a Russian Oil venture. The two suspects provided investment literature containing false information about the investment, the proposed business activities and even the individuals associated with their business.”

Media accounts have highlighted Bastarache and Pucci and their involvement in philanthropy. They founded the “Before It’s Too Late! Foundation” to prevent suicide and promote mental health. She has a background in finance.

The two are married, according to a recent profile. They met during a visit to the Vatican, the profile said.

Bastarache, a Louisiana native, is the founder of Anomaly Factor Productions Inc., a new media and entertainment company, and she is described as an “entrepreneur, consultant and philanthropist” in promotional material about her career. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Silvermine Arts Center.

Pucci is being sued by a credit-card company for non-payment, according to state Superior Court records. He was in arrears of over $17,000 to the Bank of America, according to the lawsuit.

According to the arrest reports, the Louisiana Department of Justice contacted the department and requested that Greenwich police serve the two extraditable warrants.

Bail was set at $650,000 for both detainees, which was not posted.

Robert Marchant|Staff Reporter

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