Former RI Attorney Sentenced for Stealing Deceased Man's Pensions
PROVIDENCE, RI – A former Providence attorney who fraudulently collected nearly a quarter of a million dollars in pension funds in the name of a former client for nearly twelve years following the man’s death was sentenced today to12 months and a day in federal prison to be followed by 6 months home confinement.
Oleg Nikolyszyn, 65, previously admitted to the Court 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.
Nikolyszyn admitted to the Court that he continued to receive monthly pension payments in his client’s name for nearly twelve years following the man’s death in Poland 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 transferring the money into his and his family’s personal bank account for their own personal use.
Nikolyszyn fraudulently collected $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.
According to court documents, when the matter was referred to the Rhode Island Office of Disciplinary Counsel, Nikolyszyn represented to Bar Counsel that he had travelled annually to Poland and delivered the money in bulk cash payments to a nephew of his deceased client. Bank records proved that information to be demonstrably false.
Nikolyszyn, who pleaded guilty on January 3, 2020, to two counts of mail fraud and one count of theft from an employee benefit pension fund, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith to 12 months and one day in federal prison to be followed by one year supervised release, the first six months of supervised release to be served in home confinement with electronic monitoring.
Nikolyszyn’s sentence 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.
The case was 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. He was disbarred on an Order issued on January 23, 2020, retroactive to December 1, 2016.