A Little Compton Town Hall employee charged last week with embezzlement admitted in an interview with Rhode Island State Police to taking $1,000 in cash that had been brought in as a tax payment, …
A Little Compton Town Hall employee charged last week with embezzlement admitted in an interview with Rhode Island State Police to taking $1,000 in cash that had been brought in as a tax payment, state police said Tuesday morning.
Rachel Bruno, 31, of 202G Long Highway, was arrested by the state police's financial crimes unit on Thursday, Nov. 30, arraigned and charged with a single count of felony embezzlement/fraudulent conversion. Under the state statute, the charge reaches felony status when the amount allegedly taken exceeds $100.
On Tuesday, Major Kenneth Moriarty of the state police said Little Compton officials contacted his agency earlier this fall and asked them to investigate, after a resident paid a tax bill with cash and received a receipt, but later got a tax delinquency notice from the town.
"She admitted to it" during questioning, Moriarty said of Bruno Tuesday.
Little Compton Town Manager Antonio Teixeira declined Monday to answer questions about the arrest, and would not disclose Bruno's current employment status.
Following Bruno's arraignment at state police headquarters, she was released on $1,000 personal recognizance and ordered to appear back in court on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
Bruno was hired full time by a unanimous vote of the town council on June 22, 2022, following the completion of a probationary employment period.
When state police announced her arrest on Friday, there was no mention of her employment with the Town of Little Compton. But according to a criminal complaint signed by state police detective Michael Colasante, the offense dates back at least to Monday, Sept. 20. Bruno, “acting as agent of the Town of Little Compton, to whom money was entrusted…did embezzle and convert to her own use such property, which came into her possession and her care and charge by virtue of acting in the said capacity" as a town agent.
Among other things, she was ordered at Thursday's arraignment to not leave Rhode Island without permission from the court.
— With reports by Ruth Rasmussen