Former Goodwill Sacramento CEO, Richard Alan Abrusci, a resident of South Lake Tahoe, is now facing a litany of charges, including nine counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and three counts of monetary transactions with proceeds of specified unlawful activity. Abrusci’s arrest came after a federal grand jury indictment on November 16, accusing him of embezzling over $1 million from the nonprofit organization.
During an initial court appearance on Thursday, Abrusci entered a plea of not guilty and was subsequently released. The charges stem from a complex scheme where Abrusci allegedly orchestrated fraudulent payments through a fictitious business name, Resolution Arrangement Services, registered in 2008.
The Justice Department disclosed that Abrusci joined Goodwill in 2014, becoming CEO in 2016 and later serving as president and CEO in 2018. Notably, he had Goodwill and one of its subsidiaries make payments totaling approximately $1.4 million to Resolution Arrangement Services between 2016 and 2021.
Abrusci purportedly used falsified documents, including invoices and purchase orders, to conceal the fraudulent payments into the Resolution Arrangement Services bank accounts. Some of these transactions involved convincing the company’s chief financial officer to pay $55,000 under false pretenses related to a lawsuit, using a forged letter attributed to an attorney.
Goodwill Sacramento, which detected the fraud through internal audits and investigations, emphasized that the misappropriated funds came from state funding rather than donors. Sam Singer, a spokesperson for Goodwill, expressed the severity of the allegations and urged federal prosecutors to pursue the case to the fullest extent of the law.
In response to the incident, Goodwill Sacramento has implemented new policies and procedures under a new CEO to prevent such malfeasance in the future. If convicted, Abrusci could face significant penalties, including a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the nine wire fraud counts, as well as a maximum of 10 years in prison and substantial fines for other charges