Blackstone Man Arrested for Defrauding Former Employer
BOSTON – A Blackstone man was arrested today in connection with a fraudulent scheme to steal money from his former employer – a company that operates a national chain of second-hand retail stores.
Anthony Prizio, 48, was indicted on six counts of wire fraud. Prizio will make an initial appearance in federal court in Worcester today at 2 p.m. today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy.
According to the indictment, from January 2019 until July 2021, Prizio served as the manager of the company’s Worcester store location. In this position, Prizio had access to the store’s timekeeping system for employees’ working hours, human resources panel, and un-activated payroll paycards issued to certain employees for wages. It is alleged that Prizio used his position as the store manager to engage in a scheme to defraud the company by repeatedly falsifying working hours for employees, including employees who no longer worked there. Prizio would then allegedly take some or all of the wages for his own use on personal expenditures, including his home’s utility expenses, vehicle registration fees and veterinary services. It is further alleged that Prizio took steps to conceal his fraud by misrepresenting the productivity of the Worcester store to make it appear that the store processed more items, as well as by entering false paid sick and bereavement for employees to fraudulently cause payment for fictitious hours without adversely affecting the productivity measurement of the store.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross loss involved. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin J. Brown of the Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.