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Press Release

Sacramento CEO Pleads Guilty to Pension Embezzlement

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

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — David L. Bonuccelli, 65, of Sacramento, pleaded guilty today to embezzlement from his employees’ pension plan, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Bonuccelli was the CEO of a real estate investment consulting and advisory firm in Sacramento that was a licensed real estate broker, registered investment advisor with the SEC, and which provided services to public pension funds, institutional investors, endowments, and individual investors. His firm sponsored a number of retirement benefit plans for its employees under ERISA, including a traditional pension over which Bonuccelli was the sole trustee. From 2011 through 2014, Bonuccelli made unauthorized transfers totaling $1,243,154 from the pension’s account, including transfers to his personal bank account to fund hundreds of thousands of dollars in spending and transfers to his own retirement plan. Bonuccelli later created paperwork purporting to document these transfers as “loans,” and made false statements on annual forms filed with the Department of Labor about the pension plan’s balance and his transfers.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor – Employee Benefits Security Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew M. Yelovich and Miriam R. Hinman are prosecuting the case.

Bonuccelli is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Jan. 16, 2020. Bonuccelli faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will 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.

Updated August 1, 2019

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 2:17-cr-153 TLN