Former exec who admitted to using company as 'personal slush fund' won't spend any time in prison

Prosecutors: Frank Divo 'abused trust'
Posted at 5:00 AM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 05:01:08-04

CINCINNATI — A longtime Cincinnati business executive accused of using his company's business account as "his personal slush fund" will avoid prison even though he has admitted to his "unlawful actions."

Frank Divo, 75, worked for Southwestern Ohio Water Company for 40 years.

In a sentencing memorandum filed last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Springer wrote Divo "abused the trust" his employer gave him, using the company business account "whenever and however he deemed."

Divo had minimal oversight as the company's chief operating officer and general manager, Springer said in the memo, but he still approved every invoice and signed off on all company checks for the industrial water provider.

He announced his plan to retire in 2015. Divo's replacement went over the company's financial records and discovered 560 questionable invoices spanning 17 years, according to the memo. He used false invoices to pay for landscaping and other personal expenses for himself and his family, Springer wrote.

Although Springer indicated the sentencing range for Divo was 33 to 41 months, the prosecutor recommended a one-year sentence based on Divo's cooperation and health problems, which include "mild progressive dementia."

Prior to sentencing, Divo's defense attorney, Scott Rubenstein, provided letters of support for Divo written by his wife, three children and longtime co-workers and friends. In his letter to the judge, Divo accepted responsibility for "unlawful actions" that hurt his company and family, leaving him "totally mortified, ashamed and embarrassed beyond belief."

Divo was fined $250,000, which he must pay in addition to $564,000 in restitution. He will also be on supervised release for three years.

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