Carlos Schillaci, former executive director of Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street (HJSMS), was arraigned on Oct. 17 on larceny charges for allegedly stealing nearly $20,000 from the nonprofit, according to a press release.
Schillaci left HJSMS in summer 2011 amid accusations that money that was intended for the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) had gone missing. The money was to reimburse JPNDC, which handles HJSMS’s payroll.
Schillaci appeared in Suffolk Superior Court and was charged with two charges of larceny by scheme and two charges of larceny over $250. Schillaci is alleged to have embezzled nearly $20,000, using an HJSMS debit card and checking account for personal items and services between April 2009 and December 2010.
“The evidence suggests this defendant was putting funds intended to help the community to purely personal use,” said Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley, according to the press release. “Instead of promoting a vibrant neighborhood, it was paying for his parking tickets and computer accessories.”
Besides those items, Schillaci is also accused of using the money to pay a utility bill, have his car fixed and to insure his car, according to prosecutors’ documents obtained by the Gazette. He also is alleged to have written HJSMS checks to himself, penning “salary advance” and “salary” on the memo line and used a HJSMS debit card for cash withdrawals.
According to prosecutors’ documents, Schillaci struck a “defensive tone” and made incorrect statements about the debt owed to JPNDC when he was first approached by the HJSMS board of directors about the nonprofit’s finances. He also provided incomplete financial records to the HJSMS board, according to the documents.
The prosecutors’ documents also detail how Schillaci allegedly left HJSMS.
When the HJSMS board discovered that Schillaci had used the nonprofit’s money to pay for his personal expenses, a meeting was scheduled with him. But on the way to the meeting, the HJSMS president, Jason LaGorga, received a text message saying Schillaci had an accident and was at the emergency room.
LaGorga arrived at the office to find all of Schillaci’s personal items removed and a bloody note saying Schillaci had an accident and had to go to the hospital.
When the HJSMS Board notified Schillaci that it was suspending him, he challenged the suspension. He said he could not be suspended because he was going to file a worker’s compensation claim for a fall in the supply closet while trying to get a box, which led to the aforementioned hospital visit.
LaGorga did not respond to a request for comment.
Schillaci, who currently resides in Easthampton, was released on his own recognizance. He is represented by attorney Colin Keefe. The Gazette left an unreturned message for an attorney by that name in the western part of the state. Schillaci does not have a listed phone number in Easthampton.