A jury found an Aurora man guilty of embezzling nearly $900,000 from a nonprofit
A federal jury recently convicted an Aurora man on nine counts of wire fraud for embezzling nearly $900,000 with the goal of helping residents of Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood and instead using the money for personal benefit, including gambling at casinos.
A jury found last month Arthur Fine, 61, pleaded guilty after a five-day trial in the 6th U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in October, according to court records. Sentencing is scheduled for February 8.
Fine oversaw construction projects through Business Development Concepts LLC, a company he owns. This included redeveloping the vacant Glenville building into a community center, as well as a grocery store to address the chronic food desert problem of neighborhood residents.
The project, called New East Side Market, was launched by a nonprofit company called Northeast Ohio Neighborhood Health Services, Inc. (NEON). Fine was responsible for the project, including making payments to vendors.
Fine was accused of embezzling about $760,000 by concealing invoices submitted by the project’s general contractor, then submitting his own invoices to NEON. Fine was also accused of embezzling approximately $126,000 in additional funds that were intended to pay another contractor.
Evidence indicated that Fine used the money to finance his private lifestyle, which included losing more than $1 million at Jack Cleveland Casino and New Orleans Casino. Fine also paid for Louis Vuitton merchandise, services at a spa in New York City, and a luxury cruise out of Miami.
After the ruling, as a condition of Fine’s $20,000 bail, Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. ordered that Fine be prohibited from gambling or entering any gambling establishment.
The attorney representing Fine did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.
The FBI’s Cleveland Division and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General investigated the case before filing charges.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on the Record-Courier: A jury found an Aurora man guilty of embezzling nearly $900,000