U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
April 21, 2011
FORMER RI CONTRACTOR BOARD HEARING OFFICER
TO PLEAD GUILTY IN NORTH PROVIDENCE INSURANCE FRAUD CASE
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Robert A. Ricci, 50, of North Providence, a former hearing officer for the Rhode Island Contractor’s Registration and Licensing Board and a residential contractor and owner of R.A.R. Building and Home Improvements LLC, has agreed to plead guilty as charged for his role in an insurance fraud scheme which came to light during an FBI investigation into political corruption in North Providence, it was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha.
Ricci; former North Providence town councilman John A. Zambarano, a residential contractor and owner of Zam’s Carpeting, Inc; Vincent O. DiPaolo of Johnston, an unlicensed public insurance adjuster and owner of VDP United Consultants, Inc.; and Lori A. Sergiacomi of North Providence, a/k/a Tanya Cruise, a former on-air Providence radio personality were indicted in November 2010 with allegedly conspiring together to defraud an insurance company of nearly $50,000.
According to court documents and information previously presented to the court, it was alleged that the four conspired and devised a scheme in which an insurance claim would be filed to repair uninsured flood damage to Sergiacomi’s home. Damage was intentionally caused to the roof and interior of Sergiacomi’s home and in-ground swimming pool, and then attributed to the historic March 2010 floods and a fictitious wind and rain storm in April 2010. Sergiacomi’s insurance claim for nearly $50,000 also included money to be used for home improvement projects.
The indictment alleges that after the damage was caused to the house and pool, Zambarano created a fraudulent invoice which estimated the damage and cost of repairs at nearly $50,000. Zambarano and Ricci were hoping the proceeds from the settlement would create paying jobs for themselves.
A change-of-plea hearing for Robert Ricci has been scheduled on June 1, 2011, before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.
Zambarano previously pleaded guilty as charged for his role in the insurance fraud scheme and for his role in the political corruption schemes in North Providence in which bribes were paid for favorable council votes. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 17, 2011
DiPaolo and Sergiacomi are awaiting trial.