November 17, 2019
 
Nonprofit Execs Indicted, Plead Guilty in Theft, Drug Charges

October 4, 2019 — The former president of a Revere nonprofit that promotes the welfare of children and adults with special needs was indicted in connection with stealing more than $42,000 from the organization, while the owner of a nonprofit Roxbury sober home pleaded guilty in connection with distributing drugs to recovering substance users in exchange for sex, Attorney General Maura Healey announced on Wednesday.

According to the office of the attorney general (AG):
  • Michelle DeMauro, 48, of Revere, former president of Revere League for Special Needs was indicted Monday by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on two counts of larceny over $1,200 by single scheme, tax evasion, failure to collect or pay tax, keep records or supply information, and two counts of obtaining a signature under false pretenses.

    DeMauro is schedule to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on Oct. 16.

  • David Perry, age 58, of Reading, a lawyer who owned and operated Recovery Educational Services (RES) in Roxbury, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to the charges of 15 counts of evidence tampering, eight counts of conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs, six counts of possession of illegal Class B, C, and E substances, one count of distribution of a Class B substance, and six counts of sex for fee.

    Following the plea, Judge William Sullivan sentenced Perry to two-and-a-half years in the House of Correction, followed by three years of probation, during which he must surrender his law license, not operate any sober houses/treatment facilities, stay away from and have no contact with witnesses, participate in and regularly attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and remain drug free with random screens.
“David Perry intentionally abused his position of power as both a lawyer and operator of a sober home to prey on and exploit those in his care,” Healey said. “My office has made combatting the opioid epidemic a top priority and we will continue to work with our partners to investigate and prosecute individuals who abuse and manipulate those in recovery.”

According to the AG’s office, from 2012 through 2017, while Perry was operating RES and practicing law, he sexually exploited young men at RES and at his residence in Reading in exchange for drugs, money, rent and housing, and legal representation.

He also falsified letters he sent to various probation departments on behalf of numerous individuals, including some who were his legal clients and some who lived at RES, according to the AG's office, which noted that "Perry falsely stated the individual had been tested for drugs and produced a clean urine sample showing no sign of illegal drugs. In some cases, the letters also falsely stated the individual was a resident of RES, sober and participating in the recovery programming offered at the sober house."

According to its most recently available federal tax filing, RES received $424,874 in revenue and $426,973 in expenses for the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, and $44,111 in net assets.

In the DeMauro case, the AG’s office alleged that 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, electronics, concert tickets, cash withdrawals, and gift cards."

The AG’s office also alleged that DeMauro made some personal purchases using the charity’s tax-exempt status to avoid paying sales tax to the state.

The Revere League for Special Needs, established in 1963, is an organization that aims to “promote the general welfare of children and adults with special needs in the home, church, school, or community.”

All staff of the Revere League 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 the Revere League’s other board members fully cooperated and assisted with the investigation.

According to its most recently annual report filed with the AG's office, the Revere League had net assets or fund balance of $374,696 as of Dec. 31, 2015. It posted annual expenses of $29,601.

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