Rhode Island Town Council Ex-President to Admit to Fraud

April 25, 2011

A former president of the North Providence town council has agreed to plead guilty to charges in an insurance fraud scheme involving a local radio host.

Prosecutors say Robert Ricci conspired with another former North Providence councilman, John Zambarano, insurance adjuster Vincent DiPaolo and local radio host Lori Sergiacomi — known on the air as Tonya Cruise — to damage Sergiacomi’s home and submit bogus insurance claims worth just over $40,000.

A plea agreement filed in federal court Thursday says that in exchange for Ricci’s plea, prosecutors will recommend a reduced sentence. Ricci is scheduled to enter his plea on June 1.

Zambarano pleaded guilty earlier this year, when he also admitted to bribery and extortion charges in a town council pay-to-play scheme.

DiPaolo and Sergiacomi have denied the charges.

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