Union official to enter guilty plea in embezzlement case involving more than $250,000

PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) — The now former business manager and financial secretary for a plasterers’ and masons’ union has agreed to plead guilty to embezzling more than a quarter of a million dollars from two accounts.

Richard D’Antuono, 42, of Cranston, signed a plea agreement with the federal government, stating he embezzled “more than $250,000 and less than $550,000.”

According to a document known as an information filed last Tuesday, D’Antuono cashed several unauthorized checks between October 2015 and September 2017 from accounts belonging to the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association Local 40.

The filing states D’Antuono made checks out to himself, in excess of his salary, and in some cases he had union officials sign blank checks. He later used those checks to embezzle funds from the union’s operational account according to Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Stephen Dambruch.

D’Antuono is also accused of forging the signatures of authorized union officials on other checks. And he allegedly embezzled funds from the union’s Apprenticeship Fund by writing checks payable to the Local 40 operation account and then taking the money for his own use.

D’Antuono agreed to plead guilty to one count of embezzlement from a labor organization, one count of embezzlement from an employee benefit plan and one count of aggravated identity theft. The maximum sentence for the three charges is up to 12 years in prison and $260,000 in fines.

Neither Local 40 nor D’Atuono’s attorney John Bevilaqua Sr. have responded to requests for comment.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau