Rhode Island Plasterers Business Manager Pleads Guilty to $300K+ Ripoff

It was a preliminary deal back in November. Now it’s a final one. Last Thursday, January 18, Richard D’Antuono, former business manager and financial secretary for Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons International Association Local 40, pleaded guilty in Providence, R.I. federal court to a three-count information charging him with embezzling more than $300,000 in funds from the Cranston-based union and a related benefit plan, and with identity theft in connection with his forging of official signatures. The plea is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards, Office of Inspector General, and Employee Benefits Security Administration.

According to federal prosecutors, D’Antuono, 42, a resident of Cranston, beginning in 2015 embezzled funds from the Local 40 general account and a union-sponsored apprenticeship plan. He acquired this income in a variety of ways: making checks out to himself well in excess of his salary; authorizing signatories to sign blank checks; and forging the signature of the authorized signatories on checks. He also commingled accounts to avoid detection. Eventually, the Department of Labor discovered irregularities and launched an investigation, which led to his prosecution by the Justice Department. Grand total of thefts: $319,795. Sentencing is set for April 6.