Former Middlesex Register of Probate Indicted in Connection with Allegedly Stealing Over $100,000 from Campaign Committee
Owner of Printing Company Also Indicted for Alleged Role in Scheme; Press Conference Materials Included Below
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WOBURN - Today, a Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against John Buonomo, the former Middlesex Register of Probate, in connection with allegedly stealing funds from his campaign committee and using those funds for his own personal use. Buonomo, age 57, of Newton, is charged with Larceny Over $250 (2 counts), Personal Use of Campaign Funds (2 counts), and Willfully Misleading Investigators. Also indicted today for his role in the alleged scheme was Marc Piro, age 46, of Wilmington. Piro is charged with Larceny Over $250, Personal Use of Campaign Funds, and Willfully Misleading Investigators. Piro is the owner of Guy T. Piro Printing ("Piro Printing"), located in Somerville.
In April 2008, the Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) began an initial investigation into suspected violations of campaign finance laws by Buonomo. In November 2008, OCPF referred the matter to the Attorney General's Office for further investigation. Authorities believe that on various dates between December 2004 and July 2008, Buonomo withdrew funds from the Committee to Elect John Buonomo for his personal use. Buonomo allegedly stole these funds using two methods. First, investigators discovered that Buonomo allegedly wrote checks to himself from the Committee's account, falsely stating on the checks that he was reimbursing himself for postage he had bought with cash. Second, investigators discovered that Buonomo also allegedly stole funds from his campaign account by writing checks from the Committee to Piro Printing for fictitious print jobs. Authorities believe that Buonomo wanted to make it appear as though the printing company was printing materials for the campaign, when in actuality these services were never rendered. Investigators discovered that after receiving the money from the Committee, Piro would allegedly refund the funds back to Buonomo immediately, minus approximately $500 for each transaction. Authorities believe that Piro also allegedly participated in the creation of fake invoices for these transactions, so that it would appear as if Buonomo had indeed used the company's printing services. All of these fake invoices were created on the same day, and were entered into Piro's accounting system in an effort to make the transactions appear legitimate.
During the course of their initial investigation, OCPF found that Buonomo allegedly submitted to OCPF forged and altered bank records, forged and altered printing invoices, as well as false written statements he had obtained from postal employees. Investigators believe this was an effort by Buonomo to mislead OCPF and to justify the taking of funds from his Committee. Investigators from OCPF and the Attorney General's Office believe that Buonomo stole approximately $100,000 from the Committee.
A Middlesex Grand Jury returned indictments against Buonomo and Piro today. Both men will be arraigned at a later date in Middlesex Superior Court.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Marc Jones of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Corruption and Fraud Division, with assistance from Financial Investigator Jessie Julian Dean and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office. Sarah Hartry, Legal Counsel for the Office of Campaign and Political Finance also investigated and assisted with this case.
Attorney General Coakley, with Director of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Michael Sullivan.
Listen to the press conference audio from March 31, 2009:
- Buonomo Indictment Press Conference Audio (mp3) file size 1MB
Download and view a transcript of today's press conference: