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'Biggest Loser' indicted

By Mark Shanahan and Paysha Rhone
Globe Staff / October 1, 2008
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Boston's "Biggest Loser" David Fioravanti appears to be a big phony. So says a Suffolk County grand jury, which yesterday indicted Fioravanti on five counts of motor vehicle insurance fraud, two counts of insurance fraud, larceny over $250, attempted larceny over $250, and making a false statement on a motor vehicle registration. According to Attorney General Martha Coakley's office, Fioravanti purchased an insurance policy from Chubb Insurance Co. in May 2002 to insure $63,000 worth of jewelry. In February 2003, he told police his apartment was broken into and the jewelry was stolen. Based on Fioravanti's police report, Chubb paid the $63,000 claim. Investigators discovered that in December 2003 Fioravanti purchased another policy from Vermont Mutual and insured the same jewelry. When Vermont Mutual learned of the claim Chubb had already paid, it canceled the policy. Investigators then learned that Fioravanti purchased yet another insurance policy in October 2004 from OneBeacon, and insured - you guessed it - the same jewelry. The other charges stem from Fioravanti's alleged attempts to defraud Arbella Mutual Insurance Company by registering his car in Marshfield, where his mother lives, instead of Boston, where he lives. Authorities allege Fioravanti was seeking to pay lower insurance premiums. Fioravanti, who won $100,000 in 2004 on the first season of NBC's "The Biggest Loser," is due to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court Nov. 4. Attempts to reach him yesterday were unsuccessful.

Jackson postpones Garden concert
Janet Jackson is out of the hospital but not well enough to perform tonight at the TD Banknorth Garden. Concert promoter Live Nation announced yesterday that Jackson postponed her Boston date while she recovers. Michael Jackson's kid sister was rushed to a Montreal hospital Monday with exhaustion. The 42-year-old singer was released two hours later. Last Friday she postponed her show in Detroit, citing "production constraints." Jackson, who reportedly will resume performing on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C., is touring in support of her latest CD, "Discipline," which debuted at No. 1 but then disappeared without a trace. The Boston stop on the singer's "Rock With U" tour was not sold out. According to Live Nation, the show will be rescheduled, and tickets to tonight's show will be accepted then.

'Sopranos' chatter
Is Waltham comedian Frank Santorelli breaking omerta? The actor (inset), who played Bada Bing bartender Georgie on "The Sopranos," says he hears a movie of the hit show is indeed in the works, despite HBO's repeated denials. Behind-the-scenes sources tell him the movie's in pre-production, he said. "But I really don't know 100 percent. This is what I'm hearing." He just hopes Georgie - who's survived many a James Gandolfini beat-down - didn't kill the crime boss. "If anybody has a motive to hurt him, it's me," he said. Santorelli will keep his skills sharp at Dick Doherty's Beantown Comedy Vault Saturday, doing a few scenes from his one-man show, "A Life Making People Laugh."

Naming a baby...
We've finally learned the name of Mark Wahlberg and Rhea Durham's baby No. 3. Brendan Joseph joins big sister Ella Rae, 5, and brother Michael, 2. . . . Sarah Silverman has teamed up with Jewsvote.org to make a funny video, in which she tries to persuade other young Jews to talk their grandparents into voting for Barack Obama. "If Barack Obama does not become the next president of the United States of America, I'm going to blame the Jews," the New Hampshire-bred comedian jokes. She advocates withholding visits until grandparents give in. Oy.

...and a building
SBLI president Bob Sheridan and his wife, Jean, now have a building named after them. The Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance named its new center in Dorchester after the couple, supporters of its fund-raising campaign.

Cool honor for Van Allsburg
"Polar Express" author Chris Van Allsburg (right) was honored at the annual "Literary Lights for Children" event at the Boston Public Library the other day. In addition to Van Allsburg, who also wrote "Jumanji," Susan Cooper, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Laura Amy Schlitz were feted for their contributions to children's lit.

A Freddie for Gary
Gary Marino, the 40-year-old Woburn man who walked from Florida to Boston to call attention to obesity, has won a Freddie Award for his documentary, "The Million Calorie March." He'll get his prize at the International Health & Medical Media Awards in Philadelphia on Nov. 14. "It's really cool to turn something negative around and make it positive," said Marino, who's lost 150 pounds. He's guessing Philly cheese steak won't be on the menu at the gala.

Kennedy on 'GBH kids' show
Senator Ted Kennedy will appear on the WGBH kids' show "Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman" tomorrow. In the episode, filmed last year, before Kennedy was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, the lion of the Senate gives game-show contestant Sam Blumenfeld, now 12, an insider's look at politics - and some sort of job offer.

Huddling up against cancer
Pats linebacker Adalius Thomas (left, with 2-year-old Gus Abrecht of Weston) raised money for breast cancer research at McDonald's in the Newton Service Plaza yesterday. (This weekend, proceeds from baked pies sold in Eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island McDonald's restaurants benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.) Thomas, who told the crowd his mother-in-law was diagnosed with the disease, signed and sold his Humble Pie T-shirts, raising $800.

Names can be reached at names@globe.com or at 617-929-8253.

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