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Braintree man accused of embezzling $68K from veterans' organization

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  April 3, 2013 01:13 PM

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A Braintree man is facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing $68,000 from the Boston Veterans Administration Research Institute, where he has worked since 2011.

According to a criminal complaint, filed in US District Court on Tuesday, Riccardo D’Orsainville, 48, from Braintree, allegedly embezzled funds from the organization over the course of six months, opening up corporate accounts in his name and diverting funds.

“I have probable cause to believe that D'Orsainville embezzled, stole, obtained by fraud, or otherwise without authority knowingly converted to the use of any person other the rightful owner or intentionally misapplied property that was valued at $5,000 or more, specifically approximately $68,000,” said Robert Bosken, a special agent with the Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General, in the complaint.

The investigation; undertaken by Bosken through the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General; alleged that money the organization received from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences as well as money from the US Treasury was put in to the fraudulent accounts and used by D’Orsainville, taken out through ATM transactions and even used at retail stores such as Men’s Wearhouse.

According to Assistant US Attorney Shelbey Wright, who is prosecuting the case, the criminal complaint is still pending and a hearing in front of the magistrate judge has not been set.

That hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to charge D’Orsainville with the crime.

According to the criminal complaint, D’Orsainville, originally from Haiti, has been convicted previously in both District of Massachusetts and Suffolk Superior Court of similar offenses. Despite the record, he was hired as a temporary employee in August 2011 through a placement agency.

He later became the executive administrator for the organization, with his tasks growing in responsibility. Soon, D’Orsainville was given the task of depositing checks the Veterans Administration received, the complaint said.

Rather than mailing the checks, as he had initially done, D’Orsainville started hand-delivering them, the criminal complaint states.

By December 2012, a financial analyst for the Research Institute noticed that the checks from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, which provides money for intern help, had become less frequent.

Suspicions were raised further when an ATM card from Citizens Bank arrived in another employee’s name, though the employee had never opened any accounts, the complaint said. The account was subsequently frozen.

In January, the bank contacted the Research Institute again to notify them of an overdraft notice. A further look showed that the account was funded by another Research Institute account.

The subsequent investigation turned up that D’Orsainville opened both accounts, and had placed 18 checks from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and two checks from the Treasury office into the account. None of those checks had been recorded as received by D’Orsainville in his bookkeeping, the complaint says.

“According to BVARI (Boston Veteran Administration Research Institute) management and staff, D'Orsainville was not authorized to open any bank accounts on BVARJ's behalf. D'Orsainville was also not authorized to use BVARI funds to make any purchases,” Bosken said in the complaint.

The affidavit was filed by Bosken on April 2 with the clerk magistrate with the hopes of establishing probable cause for the criminal complaint.

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