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Press Release

Former CEO of Sacramento Non-profit Indicted for Stealing over a Million Dollars from the Charity

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The former CEO of a Sacramento non-profit was arrested today, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

On Nov. 16, 2023, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Richard Alan Abrusci, 45, of South Lake Tahoe, charging him with nine counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and three counts of monetary transactions with proceeds of specified unlawful activity. The indictment was unsealed after the arrest.

According to court documents, in 2014, Abrusci began working at a non-profit organization that operates a chain of retail stores in California and Nevada. Abrusci became the Chief Operating Officer of the organization in 2016 and its president and CEO in 2018.

From 2016 through 2021, Abrusci fraudulently caused the non-profit organization and one of its subsidiaries to pay approximately $1.4 million to Resolution Arrangement Services (RAS). RAS consisted of nothing more than a fictitious business name that Abrusci registered in 2008 and a bank account that he opened the same year. Abrusci caused the fraudulent payments into the RAS bank account that he controlled by using various false documents, including invoices and purchase orders. In one instance, Abrusci used a forged letter purporting to be from an attorney representing the non-profit organization to convince the organization’s CFO to pay RAS $55,000 under false pretenses related to a lawsuit.

The payments to RAS were supposedly for information-technology services, helping to facilitate settlement of a lawsuit, and assisting the non-profit organization in running call centers for the State of California during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, RAS provided none of the services for which it billed the non-profit organization and its subsidiary.

This case is the product of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas M. Fogg is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Abrusci faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the nine counts of wire fraud.  Additionally, he faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each of the three counts of monetary transactions with proceeds of specified unlawful activity.  Finally, he faces a consecutive two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated December 7, 2023

Financial Fraud