1540 WADK.com Updates

The treasurer of a Rhode Island children's charity has admitted to stealing nearly $186,000 from the organization.

Authorities say Robert Lonardo, of Burrillville, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court in Providence to one count of wire fraud.

Prosecutors say the 67-year-old Lonardo began withdrawing funds from the bank accounts of the Rhode Island Association for Cardiac Children in January 2013, following the death of his mother, who founded the charity. They say Lonardo withdrew money for his own personal use up to August 2015.

The charity raises funds for hospital equipment, children's cardiac treatment and research and families whose children need surgery for cardiac disease.

Lonardo is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 16. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

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