Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel sentenced former state representative Leonidis Medina, (age 50) of Providence, to 20 years with three years incarceration and the balance of 17 years suspended with probation. Medina was found guilty by a jury on June 2, 2014 one count of unlawful appropriation in the amount of $28,035.42. Justice Vogel ordered Medina to pay full restitution in the amount of $500 per month upon release from the ACI. Medina, who was out on bail pending sentencing, was remanded to the ACI immediately.
During the trial, the State proved that Leo Medina unlawfully appropriated $28,053.42, the proceeds from a life insurance settlement owed to Alejandro Nico. Nico, an undocumented immigrant with no command of the English language or the American legal system, approached Leo Medina in June 2009 to assist him in collecting the proceeds of his daughter's life insurance policy.
Medina referred Mr. Nico to an attorney who handled the settlement. The agreement between the defendant and the victim was for Medina to deposit the settlement proceeds into his account for check cashing purposes only, as Mr. Nico did not have a checking account himself. Instead of providing the money to Mr. Nico, the defendant used the funds for his own purpose.
Mr. Nico filed a complaint with the Rhode Island State Police in June 2011.
"Mr. Nico was a vulnerable victim, unsophisticated in his knowledge of the law or his rights, who relied upon the reputation of Leo Medina as a respected leader in their community. Unfortunately, Leo Medina took advantage of that trust and merely saw the victim as easy prey," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "Leo Medina was driven by pure and simple greed. The Court was right in calling his actions heinous and the sentencing is appropriate and just."
The case was investigated by Rhode Island State Police Detective Sergeant Robert Creamer and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Paul Carnes on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.