PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Robert Lonardo, 67, of Burrillville, treasurer of the Rhode Island Association for Cardiac Children (RIACC), admitted in federal court today that he converted nearly $186,000 from the charity for his own personal use. RIACC, founded by Lonardo’s mother, raised funds to purchase hospital equipment, support children’s cardiac treatment and research, and help meet the needs of Rhode Island families whose children were undergoing surgery for cardiac disease.
Lonardo’s guilty plea to one count of wire fraud is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI, and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Lonardo admitted to the court that beginning in January 2013, following the death of his mother, he began withdrawing funds from RIACC bank accounts and converted the money for his own personal use. Lonardo admitted to the court that from January 2013 to August 2015 he converted RIACC funds totaling $185,945.77.
Lonardo is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell. Jr., on September 14, 2016. Wire fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly.
The matter was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation.
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
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