June 22, 2024

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Equality opinion

‘Trail of destruction’: Warwick female sentenced to 5 yrs in theft from godmother’s law firm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Warwick woman who pleaded guilty to expenses that she bilked a few-quarters of a million bucks from her have godmother’s regulation organization was sentenced Tuesday to 5 a long time in prison.

Sarah Gaulin, 39, pleaded guilty very last 12 months to 4 felony counts which includes lender and wire fraud and aggravated id theft. The identification theft charge arrives with a statutorily necessary two many years driving bars, and Rhode Island U.S. District Judge William Smith extra an supplemental 3 several years on the fraud counts.

One of the victims is Gaulin’s godmother, Eva Marie Mancuso, an legal professional and partner at Hamel, Waxler, Allen and Collins. Mancuso is also the previous chairperson of the R.I. Board of Training and a notable Rhode Island Democrat.

Gaulin labored as a bookkeeper for Hamel, Waxler, Allen and Collins, providing her immediate obtain to the firm’s ledger and checkbook. Assistant U.S. Lawyer Dulce Donovan said in courtroom that Gaulin meticulously siphoned additional than $740,000 from the company above “at least” seven years, declaring financial institution records obtained by prosecutors only went again that considerably.

“There was distinct proof she was in the throes of her fraud seven a long time ago,” Donovan stated. “She didn’t just get started seven years back.”

“She stole every way she could,” Donovan included. “She hid her steps, disturbingly, with a smile.”

According to prosecutors, Gaulin applied the unwell-gotten gains on “meals, utilities, medical bills, and home furnishings,” as effectively as “Cartier bracelets and designer purses.”

Gaulin also admitted to providing phony data to acquire a home finance loan for her Warwick residence, and bilking the state of revenue for a fraudulent disability claim to the R.I. Office of Labor and Schooling.

Mancuso and her husband, Sean Feeney, gave target effect statements through the sentencing, inquiring Smith to ship Gaulin to prison for seven many years on the fraud scenario — just one calendar year at the rear of bars for just about every calendar year the governing administration could demonstrate Gaulin stole from them. 

“She applied our rely on,” Feeney stated. “She employed our particular information that we entrusted to her, to steal, to go over up and to be betray us.”

In an emotional and fiery assertion, Mancuso took goal at some customers of her own family who wrote letters on Gaulin’s behalf asking the judge to spare her prison time and sentence her to probation.

“Probation for having absent our retirement? Are you kidding me?” Mancuso mentioned. “She’s a prison. This is not a family members make a difference — this is a prison make any difference, choose.”

Joanne Daley, Gaulin’s court-appointed legal professional, said her client suffered 15 years of abuse from a past connection and has since been identified with PTSD and adjustment ailment with stress and anxiety, which she explained fueled her illegal actions. Daley claimed Gaulin is marketing her house to attempt and make restitution in the situation. 

“She can not un-ring that bell,” Daley explained, introducing that Gaulin has two small children, ages 15 and one particular. “She understands she is only to blame.” 

Gaulin apologized to the court for her actions and explained she was “deeply sorry for the soreness I triggered my family.”

“I am asking for some leniency so I can be house with my little ones as before long as probable,” she explained to the court.

But Smith mentioned there was “no way” he would spare Gaulin jail time for the fraud counts based on the quantity that was stolen.

“It’s wonderful to me the trail of destruction you have produced right here,” Smith stated. “You blew a hole in this relatives that is in all probability hardly ever heading to be fixed.”

Smith requested any restitution payments to go to Mancuso and Feeney first, then to the R.I. Section of Labor and Instruction for the faux TDI assert.

Mancuso is also the daughter of a legend in Rhode Island legislation enforcement, the late Providence Police Col. Anthony Mancuso, who was a detective with the R.I. Condition Police during the heyday of organized crime in Rhode Island.

Smith ordered Gaulin to surrender herself to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on June 1.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and main investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Link with him on Twitter and Fb