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Press Release

Blackstone Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Former Employer, Identity Theft and Tax Evasion

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

BOSTON – A Blackstone man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Worcester to defrauding his former employer– a company that operates a national chain of second-hand retail stores – by using others’ identities and repeatedly falsifying working hours for employees and taking all the wages for himself. He also admitted to evading taxes on the income derived from the fraud scheme.

Anthony Prizio, 48, pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud, one count of tax evasion and one count of unauthorized use of another’s identity. U.S. District Court Judge Margaret R. Guzman scheduled sentencing for May 23, 2024. Prizio was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2023.

From January 2019 until July 2021, Prizio served as 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 portal and un-activated payroll paycards issued to certain employees for wages. Prizio used his position as store manager to repeatedly falsifying working hours for employees, including employees who no longer worked there. He would then 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. As part of the scheme, Prizio caused payroll debit cards to be issued in others’ names, which he then took for himself. Additionally, 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. Prizio failed to pay taxes on any of the income derived from this fraudulent scheme.

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. The charge of tax evasion provides for a sentence up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $100,000. The charge of unlawful use of another’s identity as charge in this case provides for a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. 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; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Boston Division; and Harry Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaitlin J. Brown of the Worcester Branch Office is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 15, 2024

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft