On Thursday, January 18, 2018, it was announced that a former business manager and financial secretary with the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 40 in Rhode Island had pleaded guilty to charges that he had embezzled union funds. 42-year-old Richard D’Antuono of Cranston pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement from a labor organization, embezzlement from an employee benefit plan and aggravated identity theft.
While appearing before United States District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith, D’Antuono admitted that beginning in 2015, he embezzled roughly $319,795 from the union. The defendant confessed to making checks out to himself in excess of his salary and a stipend to which he was entitled. In some cases, D’Antuono authorized signatories sign blank checks, which were later used to embezzle funds from the union’s operational account.
Sometimes, the defendant forged the signatures of authorized signatories on the checks. D’Antuono also admitted to embezzling funds from the Apprenticeship Fund by writing checks payable to the Local 40 operation account and embezzling the funds in a similar manner. The defendant served as the only full-time officer of the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 40. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 6, 2018.
Further details have been made available here.