CANTON ‒ Vincent Frustaci, the man who spent more than seven years in federal prison for embezzling at least $2.46 million from Stark County coffers, is back in lockup today after admitting to stealing from his most recent employer.
Frustaci, 51, pleaded guilty to a bill of information of felony grand theft late last month and was ordered by Stark County Common Pleas Judge Taryn Heath to report to the Stark County Jail on Feb. 1.
He will serve 18 months in state prison.
Stark County Assistant Prosecutor Dennis Barr said Frustaci will head to Lorain Correctional Institution before he is assigned a permanent prison to serve his sentence. He must also pay restitution.
Who did Vincent Frustaci steal from?
According to the criminal complaint filed by Stark County Sheriff's Department on Nov. 21, Frustaci collected cash deposits totaling $25,740 from numerous customers between June 17 and Nov. 4 and failed to turn the money over to his employer, Crest Roofing Services.
Barr said Frustaci was working as a salesman for the Lake Township roofing company. He believes Frustaci may have been friends with the owner, who likely was trying to give Frustaci another chance after his last conviction. A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with Crest Roofing.
Frustaci's attorney Bradley Iams declined to comment when reached Wednesday.
Barr said there was no indication from Frustaci about why he took the money. When confronted by authorities about stealing, Frustaci confessed, Barr said.
It is unclear how the company learned Frustaci was taking customers' deposits, but Barr said the owner had documentation for each offense.
By pleading guilty via a bill of information, Frustaci's case went through the legal system more quickly and avoided a review by a grand jury and a trial.
"I never got to those records. It was pretty straightforward," Barr said. "When he was confronted, he confessed and was charged. There was no defense."
Vincent Frustaci's troubling embezzlement from Stark County
In June 2010, Frustaci pleaded guilty to federal charges of stealing $2.46 million from Stark County's funds between 2003 to 2008. He carried cash out of the office in his pockets and his bags.
For years, he covered his tracks by providing false financial records and forged bank statements to state auditors to conceal the thefts. Authorities determied $2.96 million was missing. The case ended up in federal court because Stark County had received federal funding.
On two occasions in November 2008, Frustacci wrote and signed two checks drawn on a Stark County Treasurer's Office bank account totaling $230,000. He then withdrew the money in cash at a FirstMerit branch and placed the bills into a cardboard box. He claimed to bank employees that the cash was needed for a Stark Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force undercover operation.
Frustaci later said he gambled the money away.
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Frustaci was sentenced to 10 years in prison with three years to be served while under supervised release. He was ordered to pay $2.96 million in restitution. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons assigned Frustaci to serve his time at its minimum-security facility in Morgantown, West Virginia. He left the federal prison system on March 12, 2018, according to the bureau's website.
Twenty-five percent of his earnings in prison and 20% of his monthly wages after prison would be garnished to be applied toward the restitution, according to a federal court's sentencing order. Ohio's Public Employees Retirement System turned over Frustaci's $43,048 pension fund.
According to Barr, Frustaci was no longer on probation for the federal offenses. He is, however, still under order to continue to pay restitution to Stark County.
How much did Vincent Frustaci's thefts cost Stark County?
The Stark County Auditor's Office estimates the county lost $2.96 million to Frustaci's thefts. With legal fees and amounts paid by the county, the total loss of the county is believed to be $3.3 million. But with insurance payouts and money seized from Frustaci, the net loss to taxpayers is now at $1.44 million.
The Stark County Auditor's Office told The Repository in November during his stay in federal prison, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons garnished $5,537 from Frustaci's prison wages. Since his release, $19,125 has been garnished from Frustaci's wages an applied to his restitution. The county received the last payment on June 29.
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This article originally appeared on The Independent: Vincent Frustaci heading to prison after stealing from employer