SACRAMENTO - A South Lake Tahoe man who was the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada is suspected of stealing more than $1 million from the charity, according to federal prosecutors.
Richard Abrusci, 45, was arrested after a federal grand jury was unsealed on Thursday following his arrest, charging him with nine counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and three counties of monetary transaction with proceeds of specified unlawful activity.
Prosecutors said court documents show Abrusci began working at a non-profit organization in 2014, then became the Chief Operating Officer in 2016 and the president and CEO in 2018.
According to Abrusci's LinkedIn profile, he worked at Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada from 2014-2021. CBS13 interviewed , believed to be from World War II, was left at a Goodwill store in Placerville.
Abrusci caused the non-profit and one of its subsidiaries to pay about $1.4 million fraudulently to the Resolution Arrangement Services (RAS), a fake business name that Abrusic registered in 2008, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Abrusci used false documents to deposit fraudulent payments into the RAS bank account. He once used a forged letter claiming to be an attorney representing the non-profit to get the CFO to pay RAS $55,000 under false pretenses related to a lawsuit, prosecutors added.
"A routine audit conducted by Goodwill Sacramento in 2021 identified a series of questionable transactions by Mr. Abrusci, leading to an internal investigation," said Sam Singer, a spokesperson for Goodwill, in a statement. "The board of directors was immediately notified of the results of the internal investigation and engaged a forensic audit team."
Singer said the board immediately terminated Abrusci and notified the Sacramento District Attorney after the investigation.
Abrusci faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the nine counts of wire fraud. He also faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and $250,000 for each count of monetary transactions with proceeds of specified unlawful activity. He faces a consecutive two years in prison for aggravated identity theft.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigations.
Ken Gosney has since been hired as the CEO of the Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada.
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