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Nonprofit head accused of embezzlement

The former head of a city-funded Main Streets nonprofit faces charges that he embezzled nearly $20,000 in funds intended for community revitalization, authorities announced Tuesday after a 15-month ­investigation.

Carlos Schillaci, 58, worked as the executive director for the Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets organization in Jamaica Plain for 2½ years before he was suspended in July 2011, when Boston police, city officials, and the nonprofit’s board began investigating financial ­irregularities.

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Schillaci, who now lives in Easthampton, is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in ­Suffolk Superior Court on two counts of larceny over $250 and two counts of larceny by scheme, according to Jake Wark, a spokesman for the ­Suffolk district attorney’s office.

The Suffolk County Grand Jury returned the four-count ­indictment against Schillaci on Sept. 25, officials said.

He is accused of embezzling $19,490.65 through unauthorized use of the organization’s debit card and unauthorized check deposits and using that money to pay for items and services for his personal use, prosecutors said.

Evidence and grand jury testimony suggest the money went missing between April 2009 and December 2010, according to the district attorney’s office. Schillaci began his role as the nonprofit’s executive director in January 2009.

The Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets organization is one of 20 nonprofits within Boston Main Streets, a program founded by the city in 1995 that uses city funding to support business districts by improving storefronts and public spaces. Each of the nonprofits works with commercial districts in specified parts of the city.

The city paid $30,500 to the Hyde/Jackson Square group in 2010 for the executive director’s salary, officials have said.

Each Main Streets organization in Boston also receives ­“financial and technical assistance and intensive training in the Main Street approach” from the city, as well as the National Trust Main Street Center, the city’s website says. Six full-time staff members assist the local districts, which also have access to city architects, design staff, transportation planners, and technical assistance specialists, the site says.

Around the time that Schillaci was suspended, the Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets’ board filed a police report request­ing that police and the Suffolk district attorney’s ­office investigate allegations of financial irregularities within the ­organization.

The nonprofit board launched its own investigation, and the city also started its own investigation at the order of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, officials have said.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at mjrochele@gmail.com.
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