BOSTON – A Holyoke man pleaded guilty today to embezzling $60,000 from the Boston Veteran’s Administration Research Institute (BVARI).
Riccardo D'Orsainville, 48, pleaded guilty to embezzlement and misuse of a passport. Sentencing is scheduled for May 8, 2014 before U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel. As part of the plea agreement, D'Orsainville has agreed to repay BVARI $57,479 in restitution.
In August 2011, D'Orsainville was hired by the BVARI as a temporary employee. BVARI is non-profit, tax-exempt institute whose purpose is to conduct the medical research and educational activities of the U.S. Veteran’s Affairs healthcare system. D'Orsainville's responsibilities included helping BVARI’s CEO with administrative duties, such as preparing for meetings, writing the minutes for each meeting, collecting the mail, and depositing certain checks payable to BVARI into BVARI's business bank accounts.
In July 2012, D'Orsainville forged the signatures of two BVARI employees to open an unauthorized corporate Citizens bank account in the name of BVARI. Between July 2012 and January 2013, D'Orsainville embezzled approximately $68,336 in checks made out to BVARI by depositing them into the Citizens bank account from which he ultimately withdrew approximately $60,000 for his personal use.
When D'Orsainville was arrested on July 17, 2013, he was in possession of a European Union passport belonging to a British national. D’Orsainville had altered the passport by replacing the passport photograph of the British national with his own. The investigation determined that on June 29, 2013, D'Orsainville used the altered passport to obtain employment at D. Hotel in Holyoke using the name of the British national.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Jeffrey Hughes, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office; Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; David W. Hall, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Boston Field Office; and Scott Antolik, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Boston Field Division; made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Maxim Grinberg of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.
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