Former ProvPlan Finance Director Denno to Plead Guilty to Fraud
Friday, January 27, 2017
“The Providence Plan receives a tremendous amount of federal, state and private funds each year for a laudable purpose: to provide educational and other programs to children and adults who would otherwise not have access to them. Every dollar the defendant stole – and he stole an outlandish amount – could have served someone who really needed it. It is precisely this type of conduct that gives rise to unwarranted public cynicism regarding such worthy programs. I want to thank the Providence Plan for their assistance and cooperation in this matter, once the defendant’s criminal conduct was discovered,” said United States Attorney Peter Neronha.
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The announcement is the latest in the ProvPlan saga. In September, GoLocal reported:
The leadership at ProvPlan won't say a word, and the Rhode Island State Police just learned of the resignation of ProvPlan's Executive Director on Tuesday, while conducting an embezzlement investigation into a former top employee.
ProvPlan Executive Director Pat McGuigan stepped down on Tuesday, following the recent firing and current RISP investigation of former ProvPlan Finance Director, Charles Denno.
McGuigan made $159,301 in base compensation and benefits in 2013, according to ProvPlan's most recent 990 filing.
According to court documents, from 2012 through July 2016, Denno used his authority to cause the U.S. Department of Education and the Bloomberg Family Foundation to deposit funds into Providence Plan bank accounts and fraudulently converted those funds to his own personal use. The total amount of funds fraudulently converted from the Providence Plan to Denno’s personal use was over $500,000.
In addition, according to court documents, Denno fraudulently prepared and issued Providence Plan checks made payable to CMG Enterprises, an entity he owned. The payments issued to CMG and deposited into a CMG bank account were not authorized and contained a forgery of the authorized check signing official at the Providence Plan. Denno then made multiple withdrawals from the CMG bank account in various forms, including credit card payments, check payments and ATM cash withdrawals at Twin River Casino.
Wire fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment; 3 years supervised; and a fine of up to $250,000.
A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The matter, being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams, was investigated by the Rhode Island State Police Gaming Enforcement Unit, the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General and the FBI.
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