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Children’s Charity Treasurer guilty of fraud

Robert Lonardo, 67, of Burrillville, treasurer of the Rhode Island Association for Cardiac Children (RIACC), was sentenced Wednesday to 6 months in federal orison and ordered to serve 100 hours of community services, for converting nearly $186,000 from the charity for his own personal use. RIACC, founded by Lonardo’s mother, raised funds to purchase hospital equipment, support children’s cardiac treatment and research, and help them meet the needs of Rhode Island families whose children were undergoing surgery for cardiac disease.

At sentencing, Lonardo was also ordered to serve 2 years supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Restitution in this matter will be determined by the court at a later date.

Lonardo pleaded guilty on June 28, 2016, to one count of wire fraud.

At the time of his guilty plea, Lonardo admitted to the court beginning in January 2013, following the death of his mother, he began withdrawing funds from RIACC bank accounts and converted the money for his own personal use. Lonardo admitted from January 2013 to August 2015 he converted RIACC funds totaling $185,945.77.