Former RI Attorney Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Pension Theft Charges
PROVIDENCE, RI – A former Providence attorney pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that he fraudulently collected more than a quarter of a million dollars in pension funds in the name of a former client for nearly twelve years after the man’s death.
Oleg Nikolyszyn, 65, admitted that from December 2003 through September 2015, he collected monthly pension payments totaling $234,586 in the name of a former City of Providence employee and a member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA).
According to information presented to the Court, in May 2000, the former City of Providence employee hired Nikolyszyn as his attorney and executed a power of attorney that authorized Nikolyszyn to take certain acts on his behalf. Those actions included receiving pension benefits owed him and signing and depositing checks payable to him.
Appearing on Friday before U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith, Nikolyszyn admitted that he continued to receive monthly pension payments in his client’s name for nearly twelve years following the client’s death on November 12, 2003. Nikolyszyn admitted to depositing the funds into a bank account in the name of both himself and his former client, and then converting the funds to his and his family’s personal use by transferring them into bank accounts he shared with his family.
Nikolyszyn admitting to collecting $173,597 in payments from the City of Providence Employee’s Retirement System and $60,989 from the LIUNA Pension Fund in the name of his former client.
Nikolyszyn’s guilty plea to two counts of mail fraud and one count of theft from an employee benefit pension fund is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman; Michael C. Mikulka, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Region for the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Investigations - Labor Racketeering and Fraud; Carol S. Hamilton, Acting Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police Colonel James M. Manni; and Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent in Charge Jason Molina.
Nikolyszyn is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, 2020.
Mail fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to twenty years imprisonment; a fine of $250,000 or not more than twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss resulting from the offense; and a term of supervised release of three years. Theft from an employee benefit pension fund is punishable by up to five years imprisonment; a fine of $250,000 or not more than twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss resulting from the offense; and a term of supervised release of three years.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise M. Barton.
United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman acknowledges and thanks the Rhode Island Supreme Court Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.
Oleg Nikolyszyn was suspended from the practice of law in Rhode Island by the Rhode Island Supreme Court on December 1, 2016, following an investigation by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.