November 8, 2023   

Lighting Retrofit Worker’s Deception Leads to Jail Time

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Forgery, embezzlement and tax evasion lead Massachusetts woman to 5-year prison sentence


A saga of deceit and theft culminated last week with a woman's sentence to 62 months in prison. Joanne Dinoto, 49, formerly employed at a Wilmington, Massachusetts lighting retrofit company, faced justice for a series of financial crimes, including embezzlement, unemployment fraud and tax evasion.

Dinoto's criminal activities spanned over a decade, beginning as early as October 2008, as uncovered by federal court records in Boston. Her calculated moves allowed her to pilfer more than $1.8 million from her first employer, a flooring company based in Acton. She achieved this by inflating her compensation, misusing corporate credit cards, and forging checks to herself, subsequently doctoring the accounting records to mask her fraud.


Court documents reveal that Dinoto intensified her fraudulent activities when her schemes were discovered by the Acton employer. Dinoto accused her supervisor of having an affair with her and claimed he had authorized her inappropriate expenditures, an attempt to deflect her own wrongdoing. Dinoto was also found to have orchestrated a deceitful plan to receive unemployment benefits while simultaneously holding a full-time position at the lighting retrofit company, earning an annual salary of $85,000.

Adding to her list of felonies, between 2015 and 2020, Dinoto evaded taxes by failing to report over $1 million of her illicit gains from the Acton company and income from the Wilmington lighting retrofit company on her tax returns.

Dinoto's actions led to a sentence imposed by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Denise J. Casper of 62 months in prison and three years of supervised release. She also faces a daunting restitution of over $2 million.

The case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen A. Kearney of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit, was supported by a collaborative effort of various federal and local agencies.