U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Rhode Island
(401) 709-5000
September 24, 2015

Smithfield Woman Sentenced for Embezzling More Than $274,000 from Her Employer

PROVIDENCE, RI—Christi Romano, aka Christi Machala, 36, of Smithfield, R.I., was sentenced today to four years’ probation, the first six months to be served in home confinement, for embezzling more than $274,000 from Christa Creations, a toy manufacturer and distributor in Smithfield where she was employed, and for lying to FBI agents during the investigation into the theft, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Romano to pay restitution in the amount of $274,751.06. Romano pleaded guilty on May 27, 2015, as charged by way of a federal indictment returned in October 2014, to charges of wire fraud and making false statements.

At the time of her guilty plea, Romano admitted to the court that between February 16, 2010, and March 26, 2012, she made 126 unauthorized wire transfers totaling $274,751.06 from a bank account belonging to Christa Creations. Romano admitted to the court that she used the funds to pay her personal credit card debt.

At the time of her guilty plea, Romano also admitted to the court that during the investigation she made false statements to FBI agents when she told the agents that she did not steal or misapply funds belonging to Christa Creations.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Rose.

The matter was investigated by the FBI, with the assistance of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

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