Children’s Charity Treasurer Sentenced to Federal Prison
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Robert Lonardo, 67, of Burrillville, treasurer of the Rhode Island Association for Cardiac Children (RIACC), was sentenced today to 6 months in federal prison and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service for converting nearly $186,000 from the charity for his own personal use. RIACC, founded by Lonardo’s mother, raised funds to purchase hospital equipment, support children’s cardiac treatment and research, and help meet the needs of Rhode Island families whose children were undergoing surgery for cardiac disease.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. also ordered Lonardo to serve 2 years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Restitution in this matter will be determined by the court at a later date.
Lonardo pleaded guilty on June 28, 2016, to one count of wire fraud.
Lonardo’s sentence is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha, Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI, and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
At the time of his guilty plea, Lonardo admitted to the court that beginning in January 2013, following the death of his mother, he began withdrawing funds from RIACC bank accounts and converted the money for his own personal use. Lonardo admitted that from January 2013 to August 2015 he converted RIACC funds totaling $185,945.77.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Terrence P. Donnelly.
The matter was investigated by the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation.