Union Officer Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement, Aggravated ID Theft
PROVIDENCE, RI – A former business manager and financial secretary for the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 40 in Rhode Island pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence today to charges that he embezzled approximately $319,795 in union funds.
Richard D’Antuono, 42, of Cranston, pleaded guilty to a three-count information charging him with embezzlement from a labor organization, embezzlement from an employee benefit plan, and aggravated identity theft, announced United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch and Jonathan Russo, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, Boston-Buffalo District Office.
Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, D’Antuono admitted to the Court that for two years, beginning in 2015, he embezzled approximately $319,795 from a union operational account and from an apprentice fund, an employee benefit plan used to finance training programs for apprentice plasterers and masons and for the retraining or refresher training of journeymen union members.
D’Antuono admitted to the Court that he made checks out to himself substantially in excess of his salary and a stipend to which he was entitled. In some instances, he had the authorized signatories sign blank checks, which he later used to embezzle funds from the operational account. In other instances, he forged the signature of the authorized signatories on checks. D’Antuono admitted that he also embezzled funds from the Apprenticeship Fund by writing checks payable to the Local 40 operation account and then embezzling the funds in the same manner.
D’Antuono was the sole full-time officer of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 40.
D’Antuono is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6, 2018. Embezzlement from a labor organization is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of $10,000 and a term of supervised release of 3 years. Embezzlement from an employee benefit plan is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of 3 years. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by statutory penalties of mandatory term of two years imprisonment in addition to the sentence imposed on counts on the embezzlement charges.
The case is being prosecuted by John P. McAdams.
The matter was investigated by U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards with the Office of Inspector General Office of Investigations - Labor Racketeering & Fraud, and the Employee Benefits Security Administration.