New charges sought against ex-decorator 

Ronald Payne Silverstein

SALEM — A former Newburyport decorator under indictment as "a common and notorious thief" is now being held without bail after prosecutors say he went back to his old ways while out on bail.

Ronald Payne Silverstein, 51, of Rowley ran Just Imagine Designs in Newburyport until 2018, when the first of what would become a stack of complaints began coming in, alleging that Silverstein was taking money for work he never completed. 

Police say he defrauded numerous North Shore and eastern Massachusetts residents who hired him to install drapes, shades and blinds.

The decorator was initially facing civil small claims lawsuits. But police from multiple area departments then filed criminal charges, and in 2018 Silverstein was indicted by an Essex County grand jury — the first of what so far are three sets of indictments pending against him.

He had at one point been scheduled to stand trial on seven counts of felony larceny, a charge of larceny from a person 60 or older, two misdemeanor larceny counts, and the charge of being a common and notorious thief, but the case was postponed last month after Silverstein hired a new attorney. 

In a motion filed in Salem Superior Court earlier this month seeking a warrant, prosecutor Lindsay Nasson said Silverstein violated the terms of his release by committing a new offense "identical in modus operandi" to his earlier cases.

Nasson said in her filing that the District Attorney's Office is bringing charges in the latest alleged incident. 

Carrie Kimball, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, said she could not provide more specific details because it is a grand jury matter. 

Earlier in the week, Silverstein was added by Rowley police to the "Mass Most Wanted" website. 

He turned himself in at Salem Superior Court on Thursday afternoon, where Judge Thomas Drechsler revoked his bail in the pending cases and ordered him into custody. 

A further hearing in the case is scheduled for April 22 in Salem Superior Court. 

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis. 

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