PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A former town solicitor in Burrillville will plead guilty to fraud and theft charges after he kept accepting municipal pension payments for a man who had died.
A federal plea agreement signed by defendant Oleg Nikolyszyn was released Friday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.
In 2000, a man who’d earned a pension from the city of Providence and the Laborer’s International Union of North America (LIUNA) retained Nikolyszyn as his attorney and Nikolyszyn started receiving monthly payments on the man’s behalf, according to the plea agreement. The man moved to Poland later that year.
About a year later, Nikolyszyn contacted the pension funds and had them start sending him the man’s pension checks.
Then, in 2003, the man died.
However, Nikolyszyn kept receiving pension checks on the man’s behalf, totaling about $60,989 from LIUNA and $173,597.68 from the Providence Pension Fund between December 2003 and September 2015.
Nikolyszyn would deposit the checks in a bank account held jointly in the man’s name and his own, but then transfer the money to his personal account and utilize the money for his own personal use.
If he were to go to trial, Nikolyszyn could face up to 45 years in jail and a maximum $750,000 fine.
However, according to the plea agreement, government prosecutors said he could face as little as than two years in prison after he pleads guilty to mail fraud and theft from an employee benefit pension fund.
Nikolyszyn was suspended from practicing law in 2016 when the allegations first came to light.
This article was corrected on January 6, 2020, after an earlier version of this article appeared to indicate that a two-year sentence was assured. While a plea agreement says prosecutors will recommend a certain type of sentence, the final decision on a sentence is still up to the court.