New addition Amber Corbino Marchese was introduced as an old friend of Melissa Gorga.
Amber wastes no time throwing confronting her cast mates on their skeletons. As soon Amber and her husband, Jim, confront cast members, Jim’s colorful past comes tumbling out. Jim is no stranger to the legal system: he is a law school graduate although he is not a practicing attorney.
Jim was a sales representative with Cell Therapeutics (CTI), a biopharmaceutical company who specializes in oncology products. In 2007, Jim became a whistle blower against his former employer when he accused CTI of fraudulently marketing a cancer drug to bilk Medicare out of millions. The Justice Department joined in Jim’s lawsuit against CTI. As a result, CTI was ordered to pay $10.5 million dollars in fines to the Government.
New Jersey law allows a successful whistle blower to an award of 15% to 25% of funds recovered from by the Government. But when Jim asked for his share of the $10.5 million dollars the Justice Department charged Jim with orchestrating CTI’s fraud as the “planner and initiator.” The law recognizes that a “planner and initiator” of a fraud should not be awarded a whistle blower’s percentage because to do so would be to reward the ring leader of the wrongdoing. The Justice Department produced evidence that Jim had allegedly used his participation in marketing the drug as a reason justifying a promotion/raise while employed at CTI. A hearing was required to settle the issue of whether Jim should be denied recovery of the funds for his alleged participation in the scheme.
The Court ultimately sided with Jim awarding him the minimum 15% of the $10.5 million for a total recovery to Jim of $1.6 million. The Court found that without Jim’s cooperation, the Department of Justice would not have discovered the fraudulent activity. On the other hand, the Court also criticized Jim for not alerting federal authorities earlier since cancer patients were being harmed as a result of the fraud.
As if that wasn’t enough interaction with the legal system, in December 2009, Jim’s ex wife and mother of 2 of his 4 children, was indicted by a Grand Jury. In a 7 count indictment, Rebecca Marchese DePeri Grande and her sister were charged with criminality arising out of their ownership in Spectrum Title Agency. Grande was charged with conspiracy, misapplication of entrusted property, theft by failure to make required disposition of property received and misconduct by a corporate official. Grande’s sister was charged with writing bad checks and theft by deception. Jim’s ex wife took a plea. Thereafter, Jim sought custody of his 2 boys.
Clearly the Marchese Family are full throttle additions to the Real Housewives of New Jersey.