UPDATE: Northborough man pleads guilty in nonprofit wire fraud, money laundering case

531

NorthboroughUPDATE: This article has been updated with a statement from Venture Community Services CEO Mike Hyland.

NORTHBOROUGH – A Northborough man is set to be sentenced later this year after pleading guilty on charges that he embezzled more than $350,000 from a Sturbridge nonprofit beginning in 2016. 

The U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced this guilty plea on Wednesday, roughly eight months after Kyriakos “Rick” Kapiris, 36, was indicted in federal district court. 

Kapiris worked as the IT Manager for Venture Community Services, which provides services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

He began working in that position in 2015.

That, prosecutors said, gave him access to company credit cards, which he used to make purchases from fake vendor accounts that he controlled on Square and Amazon. 

Prosecutors said Kapiris“fabricated sales invoices…to conceal the scheme.”

They added that Kapiris later “used stolen funds for personal expenses,” including $19,250 sent to a home contractor. 

In a statement on Thursday, Venture Community Services President and CEO Mike Hyland said the organization fired Kapiris in May of 2020 after “an internal investigation revealed financial crimes.”

“The agency promptly reported these crimes to local law enforcement, and cooperated fully with the investigation,” Hyland continued in his statement. “None of the people supported by Venture were affected by the crimes.

Once notified, Sturbridge Police, in turn, reached out to the FBI’s Worcester office, according to a police statement in October.

Northborough Police also aided in the investigation.

Kapiris specifically pleaded guilty this week to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering, according to prosecutors. 

In total, prosecutors said he stole $366,477.

Charges of wire fraud could carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, while the money laundering charge could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. 

Sentences could also include supervised release and fines. 

Kapiris is due to be sentenced on Oct. 14, according to prosecutors.

Hyland said Venture conducted a criminal background check on Kapiris prior to his hire and had “rigorous internal controls in place that are reviewed annually by an independent auditor.”

“Venture is grateful for the efforts of the Sturbridge Police Department, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts in bringing Kapiris to justice,” Hyland continued in his statement on Thursday.

An attorney for Kapiris declined to comment on this topic when contacted on Thursday afternoon.

RELATED CONTENT

Northborough man charged with wire fraud, money laundering