U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
November 24, 2010
NOT GUILTY PLEAS IN NORTH PROVIDENCE INSURANCE FRAUD CASE
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Four individuals named in a five-count federal indictment returned last Thursday which alleges that they participated in a scheme to defraud an insurance company of nearly $50,000 pleaded not guilty to the charges today in U.S. District Court in Providence. The indictment alleges the four intentionally damaged the home and in-ground swimming pool of one of the defendants, then filed an exaggerated insurance claim to repair the damage and damage that occurred during the historic floods in March. The flood damage was not covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy.
Former North Providence Town Councilman John A. Zambarano, 47, owner of Zam’s Carpeting, Inc.; Robert A. Ricci, 49, of North Providence, a hearing officer for the Rhode Island Contractor’s Registration and Licensing Board and owner of R.A.R. Building and Home Improvements LLC; Vincent O. DiPaolo, 61, of Johnston, an unlicensed public insurance adjuster and owner of VDP United Consultants, Inc.; and Lori A. Sergiacomi, 49, of North Providence, a/k/a Tanya Cruise, an on-air Providence radio personality, entered not guilty pleas to four counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. They were released on unsecured bond.
The indictment, an out-growth of the ongoing FBI investigation into alleged public corruption in North Providence, was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office.
The indictment alleges that the four conspired to devise a scheme to file an insurance claim to repair uninsured flood damage to Sergiacomi’s home which was caused by the historic floods in March. They intentionally caused damage to the roof and interior of Sergiacomi’s home and in-ground swimming pool, and then attributed the damages and the previous flood damage to a fictitious wind and rain storm in April. Sergiacomi’s insurance claim for nearly $50,000 also included money for home improvement projects.
Mail fraud is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and 3 years supervised release. Conspiracy is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and 3 years supervised release.
An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John P. McAdams and Terrence P. Donnelly.