Sandwich Man Found Guilty of Stealing from Veterans Group

GavelBARNSTABLE – A former corporate officer of the Cape Cod chapter of Disabled American Veterans, Inc. has been convicted on four counts of larceny for stealing $125,000 from the Disabled American Veterans Inc. Cape Cod Chapter 96.

Richard Trott, 65, was found guilty Monday after a five-day trial in Barnstable Superior Court.

He was sentenced to two years in jail, with 18 months to serve. The balance of time will be suspended for 10 years.

The Massachusetts attorney general began an investigation in May 2013 after the matter was referred by the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office.

Trott was the former Commander of the Disabled American Veterans, Inc. (DAV) of the Cape and Islands, Chapter 96.

DAV is a national charitable corporation that was congressionally-chartered in 1932 for the sole purpose of representing the interests of disabled veterans and their families.

Each state has a department of the DAV and each state department, in turn, is comprised of multiple chapters.

Current chapter commander, Thomas Sullivan of Yarmouth, said the breach of trust was devastating.

“The chapter could not do any filings for veterans. It just devastated the whole chapter and it was over two years it was totally suspended,” said Sullivan.

The Attorney General’s office says that their investigation revealed that Trott transferred funds from Chapter 96 DAV accounts into his own personal bank accounts and continuously withdrew DAV money for his own personal use, using debit card purchases, ATM withdrawals and checks payable to himself.

Further investigation provided additional information about how funds were allegedly stolen by Trott.

Authorities said that at various times between June 2009 and April 2010, and again between December 2011 and June 2012, Trott diverted money from Chapter 96 DAV accounts to a separate veterans’ organization controlled by him, Disabled Veterans Association of Cape Cod and the Islands (DVACC) and subsequently withdrew thousands of dollars of those funds for his own personal use.

“He violated every aspect of that oath, including the oath of obeying state and federal laws. He violated state law,” said Sullivan.

Authorities also claimed that Trott diverted third party donations payable to the Chapter 96 DAV to DVACC accounts without authorization and withdrew that money for his own purposes.

Those donations included bequests and other gifts associated with individual estates, as well as donations from community members.

Trott allegedly spent the money he stole on various personal purchases including retail, personal travel and vacation expenses, various household expenses, a boat, and at restaurants, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

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