News Release

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Pennsylvania Physician and Wife Ordered to make Restitution for Embezzling Pension Plan Assets

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - A Bucks County, Pennsylvania, physician and his wife have been ordered to pay $324,382 in restitution to the pension and profit sharing plans sponsored by Regional Gastroenterological Associates (RGA) for conspiring to embezzle funds from the pension plans. The restitution is part of criminal sentences handed down by a federal court on June 25 and 26.

Dr. Andrew T. Fanelli Sr. also was sentenced on June 26 to 12 months in prison in a community detention center, followed by three years of supervised release, starting August 16.

His wife, Angela Fanelli, was sentenced on June 25 to 12 months house arrest at the couple’s residence in Bucks County. She will be permitted to leave her home to work or as otherwise authorized by the probation office, and was also was sentenced to five years probation.

Besides the restitution, the couple were ordered to pay a fine of $40,000, the maximum permitted under the sentencing guidelines plus a special assessment of $50 each.

On December 14, 1998, the Fanellis pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiring to unlawfully use funds from employee benefit plans. The plans’ assets were unlawfully used for both business and personal expenses.
Dr. Fanelli was a partner in the RGA medical practice, which has offices in Langhorne and New Hope, Pennsylvania and Medford and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. His wife was RGA’s business manager. In December 1997, a federal grand jury indicted the couple on charges of making unauthorized withdrawals of more than $1 million from the RGA pension plans. More than 50 unauthorized withdrawals were made between September 1990 and December 1992.

Dr. Fanelli was one of two plan trustees. The plans, which are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, provide retirement benefits for the physicians, nurses and other employees of RGA. Mrs. Fanelli was also a signatory on the plans’ accounts.

The case resulted from an investigation conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Division and the Philadelphia Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration and the Investigations Office of the department’s Office of Inspector General. The government was represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Goldman and Jennifer Chun.

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

 

EBSA News Release: 
07/02/2001
Release Number: 
III-01-07-02-064-PHL