Former Corporate Officer of Cape Code Disabled Veterans Organization Found Guilty of Larceny, Sentenced to Jail
Diverted More Than $100,000 in Funds from the Organization for Personal Use
BARNSTABLE – A former corporate officer of the Hyannis chapter of Disabled American Veterans, Inc. has been found guilty on larceny charges in connection with stealing more than $100,000 from the charitable organization, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today. He was sentenced to two years in jail with 18 months to serve.
After a four day trial, Richard Trott, Sr. age 65, of East Sandwich, was found guilty by a Barnstable Superior Court jury on Monday on charges of Larceny over $250 (4 counts). After the verdict, Judge Robert Rufo sentenced Trott to two years in the House of Correction with 18 months to serve and the balance suspended for a probationary period of 10 years upon his release. A restitution hearing will be held on Nov. 19.
“This individual exploited his position and stole from a charitable veterans organization, depriving disabled veterans and their families of much needed assistance,” AG Healey said. “We will not tolerate actions such as these, which undermine the good work done by organizations like this to help our veterans.”
The AG’s Office began an investigation in May 2013 after the matter was referred by the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.
Trott was the former Commander of Chapter 96 of the Disabled American Veterans, Inc. (DAV), based in Hyannis. DAV is a national charitable corporation that was congressionally-chartered in 1932 for the sole purpose of representing the interests of disabled veterans and their families. Each state has a department of the DAV and each state department, in turn, is comprised of multiple chapters.
The initial investigation revealed that Trott transferred funds from Chapter 96 DAV accounts into his own personal bank accounts and continuously withdrew DAV money for his own personal use, using debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals and checks payable to himself.
Further investigation provided additional information about how funds were stolen by Trott. At various times between June 2009 and April 2010, and again between December 2011 and June 2012, Trott diverted money from Chapter 96 DAV accounts to a separate veterans’ organization controlled by him, Disabled Veterans Association of Cape Cod and the Islands (DVACC) and subsequently withdrew thousands of dollars of those funds for his own personal use.
He also diverted third party donations payable to the Chapter 96 DAV to DVACC accounts without authorization and withdrew that money for his own purposes. Those donations included bequests and other gifts associated with individual estates, as well as donations from community members.
Trott spent the money he stole on various personal purchases including retail, personal travel and vacation expenses, various household expenses, a boat, and at restaurants.
A Barnstable Grand Jury returned initial indictments against Trott on Dec. 6, 2013 and he was arraigned on that charge on Jan. 14, 2014. He was indicted on three more charges of Larceny over $250 on Feb. 26 and arraigned on those charges on April 6. He was found guilty and sentenced on Monday.
This trial was handled by Assistant Attorneys General David Andrews and Joshua Orr through AG Healey’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division, with assistance from Assistant Attorney General Edward Beagan, Chief of AG Healey’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division, Financial Investigator Stephen Bethoney, Victim Advocate Megan Murphy, State Police assigned to the AG’s Office, and the Cape and Islands DA’s Office.