R.I. attorney indicted on charges of fraud, identity and pension theft

PROVIDENCE – A Rhode Island attorney was charged Thursday by a federal grand jury in Providence for wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and theft from an employee pension plan after he allegedly continued collecting a former client’s pensions 12 years after the client’s passing, U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Stephen G. Dambruch announced.

Oleg Nikolyszyn, 53, of North Smithfield, was charged with eight counts of mail fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of theft from an employee benefit or pension fund.

Nikolyszyn allegedly used the identity of a deceased former city of Providence employee and member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America to collect more than $234,000 in monthly pension payments in that individual’s name.

According to the indictment, the former Providence employee and LIUNA member hired Nikolyszyn and gave him power of attorney, which allowed Nikolyszyn to receive finances owed, and sign and receive checks payable to his client.

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After his client moved to Poland in August 2000, Nikolyszyn had the city of Providence and LIUNA monthly pension payments sent to his office and allegedly continued to receive funds after his client’s passing on Nov. 12, 2003. Nikolyszyn is alleged to have later transferred these finances into a bank account with both his and his former client’s name, and subsequently moved the money into his personal bank accounts.

Nikolyszyn allegedly collected a total of $173,597.68 from the City of Providence Employee Retirement System and $60,989 from the LIUNA Pension Fund in the name of his former client.

Nikolyszyn was suspended from practicing law in Rhode Island on Dec. 1, 2016, following an investigation by the R.I. Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Haley Hunt is a PBN contributing writer.