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November 23, 2020
 
Ex-President of Special Needs Nonprofit Pleads Guilty to Theft

November 9, 2020 — The former president of the Revere League for Special Needs, a nonprofit based in that city that promotes the general welfare of children and adults with special needs, pleaded guilty to charges in connection with stealing more than $42,000 from the organization for personal use, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

Michelle DeMauro, 49, of Revere, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to larceny over $1,200 by a single scheme (two counts), tax evasion, failure to collect or pay taxes, keep records or supply information (one count), and obtaining a signature under false pretenses (two counts), the office of the attorney general (AG) reported.

Following the plea, Judge Michael Ricciuti sentenced DeMauro for four of the charges to serve six months in jail, suspended for three years of probation, according to the AG. DeMauro was indicted on charges in the case in October 2019.

In addition, DeMauro was ordered to pay restitution to the Revere League for Special Needs, complete the AG’s financial disclosure form, complete 150 hours of community service, sign over the proceeds of the fraudulent 401(k) retirement account she illegally set up to the Revere League for Special Needs and that she stay away from the organization, the AG said.

On the fifth charge of tax evasion, DeMauro was sentenced to three years of probation with the same conditions, to run concurrent with her sentence for the larceny and fraudulent signature charges, the AG said.

According to the AG, between March 2016 and April 2019, “DeMauro used her position as president of the organization to embezzle more than $42,000 in charitable funds that she used for personal expenses including home improvement projects, jewelry, an iPhone, a laptop, eyeglasses, concert tickets, cash withdrawals, and gift cards.”

DeMauro also reportedly made personal purchases using the charity’s tax-exempt status to avoid paying sales tax to the state, and “also used more than $5,000 in stolen funds from the organization to set up an unauthorized 401(k) retirement account with herself as the beneficiary,” the AG said.

For the year ending Dec. 31, 2015, the Revere League for Special Needs, established in1963, reported $15,862 in revenue, of which $12,167 came from contributions and grants, and $29,601 in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing. It had $374,696 in net assets at the end of that year.

All of the organization’s staff are volunteers who donate their time to hold events and activities for members of the organization and do not receive any compensation for their work, the AG’s office said.

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