As head of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury, Robert Generali was supposed to oversee programs meant to enhance the lives of hundreds of local children.
Instead, federal authorities say he used that money to enrich his own life as he bought luxuries such as concert tickets, expensive meals, even vacations.
Now, he's got to figure out a way to pay it all back, and he has almost five years behind bars to think about it. Generali, 53, was sentenced Friday to four years, nine months for embezzling close to $424,000 from the organization. He must also undergo three years of supervised released and pay full restitution to the Boys and Girl Club, plus $168,285 in back taxes, penalties and interest, on top of a $7,500 fine. He faced up to 33 years in prison before sentencing.
"This is an appropriate sentence for an individual who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from an organization that provides important programs and a safe environment for kids in and around Waterbury,” Fein stated in a news release.
“This theft deprived the club and those who need its services of money that could have funded educational programs, mentoring programs, athletic activities and desperately needed capital improvements; instead, the defendant used the proceeds of his crime to pay for expensive meals, wine and liquor, personal vacations, gambling, jewelry and other expenses," Fein stated.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Generali was the executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury, and had sole responsibility for the management of the Club’s day-to-day finances. From January 2007 through May 2011, he embezzled from the nonprofit organization by using the Club’s funds to pay for personal expenses he charged to a credit card that he established in the Club’s name, the news release states.
Generali also set up an unauthorized "off-the-books” bank account, funded with approximately $30,000 in Club funds, which he drew upon to pay for personal expenses, according to the release.
And, he authorized the issuance of checks to “phantom” employees, and then negotiated the checks for his own unauthorized use, the release states.
Court documents state that Generali, whose family name is well known in Waterbury, filed tax returns that failed to account for the embezzled income for the 2007 through 2010 tax years. And he did not report on his tax returns a $100,000 gambling prize he won in 2008 and another $40,000 raffle prize he won in 2007, court document state.
He pleaded guilty on Feb. 27 to one count of theft from a program receiving federal funds - the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Waterbury has received federal grant money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and a grant awarded by the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of subscribing a false tax return.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher M. Mattei and Eric J. Glover.