PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A former state representative who was accused of pocketing $28,000 from a life insurance policy on a friend’s dead daughter was sentenced Thursday to 20 years, with three to serve and the remaining 17 suspended with probation.
A jury convicted Ex-Rep. Leo Medina in June of unlawful appropriation of more than $28,000. He was acquitted of two other charges including embezzlement and obtaining money under false pretenses.
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As part of the sentence, Superior Court Judge Netti C. Vogel ordered Medina to pay full restitution in the amount of $500 per month once he’s released from the ACI.
Following the court proceeding Medina – who had been free on bail – was remanded immediately.
Prosecutors said Medina assisted Alejandro Nico, who the Attorney General’s Office described as “an undocumented immigrant with no command of the English language or American legal system, collect the proceeds from his daughter’s life insurance policy.
They said Medina was supposed to cash the settlement check for Nico, who didn’t have a checking account, but instead used the money for his own purpose.
“Mr. Nico was a vulnerable victim, unsophisticated in his knowledge of the law or his rights, who relied upon the reputation of Leo Medina as a respected leader in their community. Unfortunately, Leo Medina took advantage of that trust and merely saw the victim as easy prey,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. “Leo Medina was driven by pure and simple greed. The Court was right in calling his actions heinous and the sentencing is appropriate and just.”
Medina served one term as a Democratic state representative from Providence. He lost his bid for a second term in 2012.