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EXCLUSIVE: Dan Doyle Lawyer Threatens Libel Suit Against Newspaper

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Will Dan Doyle file a libel suit against the Hartford Courant?

GoLocal has exclusively received a letter from the attorney for Institute of International Sport Executive Director Dan Doyle to the publisher of the Hartford Courant, alleging a series of articles from the paper were "false, intentionally misleading, and [were] published with reckless disregard for the truth," regarding the coverage of Doyle's tenure at the Institute, and subsequent arrest for embezzlement.

On February 18, 2014, Doyle's lawyer Michael Blanchard sent a letter to Courant Publisher Nancy Meyer, stating, "This letter is to serve notice that Mr. Doyle will be filing suit against The Hartford Courant, and the journalists and editors who perpetrated the defamation and libel."

Read the Letter HERE

Dan Doyle

Doyle was arraigned last May in Rhode Island on 18 criminal counts in Superior Court following a months-long investigation into his financial direction at the Institute. Doyle was charged with seven counts of embezzlement, one count of obtaining money under false pretenses, five counts of forgery and counterfeiting and five counts of filing false documents.

In Blanchard's letter to the Courant's Meyer, he wrote, "Commencing in 2012, and continuing regularly through 2013, your newspaper published a series of articles about Mr. Doyle. Said articles contained information that was false, were intentionally misleading, and were published with reckless disregard for the truth. The articles constituted a defamation of Mr. Doyle’s character and were libelous in nature. The damage done to Mr. Doyle, both emotionally and financially, at this critical juncture in his life is irrefutable."

Articles published by the Courant included "West Hartford School Rejects Camps Run By Embattled Group," "Youth Camps Operated By Sport Institute Director Never Registered With State Health Department," "Public Relations Firm Drops Representation Of Embattled International Sports Institute," "With Probe In Full Gear, Sports Institute's Future Still Unclear," "Signature List Troubles Some Affiliated With Sports Institute," West Hartford School Reviewing Whether To Let Embattled Group Hold Peace Program,Embattled Youth Sports Program Owes URI $380,000, "Ex-Hasbro CEO: Signature On Scholar-Athlete Group's Annual Report Not Mine,"

Doyle, Institute History 

Dan Doyle founded the Institute of International Sport in the mid-1980s. The Institute’s hallmark programs – the World Scholar Athlete Games – were one of the most celebrated global youth sports events in the world. The first games were hosted at the University of Rhode Island in 1993

The Scholar Athlete games brought tens of thousands of top students to Rhode Island from around the globe. The games featured sports, arts, concerts and plays comprised of mixed teams and groups of young people. Speakers included General Colin Powell, former President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME).



Related Slideshow: 13 Biggest Sports Stories in RI in 2013

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Defamation, y'say? Tedious. Very tedious. Textbook move.

The Zecchino Estate Grifters are described as an intergenerational crime syndicate which gets cozy with elderly people, estranges them from their families, and facilitates the commission of capital crimes in order to loot them of millions.

When Girard R. Visconti, a Providence, RI, lawyer was put on notice by a prominent judge that his conduct and involvement had come to his attention, first as he'd long threatened to do, he instigated a sham, malicious Restraining Order against responsible family members who objected to the Grifters' ongoing larceny. His stooge lawyer, George Allen Wilson, II, of Naples, Florida, stupidly coerced the restraining order, the evidence for which was blatantly false - lies. This they did to protect their proxies who'd been looting on behalf of Lifespan, Dorothy Lavelle 'Dody' Adams and her loquacious sister, Helen Lavelle O'Keefe.

When the Restraining Order gag unraveled and was publicized on the Net, yep, you guessed it, The Zecchino Estate Grifters 'crime syndicate' filed a false, malicious Defamation Suit against our responsible family members in vain, feckless, hamfisted attempt to coerce our silence and stifle the truth so that they could continue to loot our family of millions.

False, malicious restraining orders and sham Defamation Suits have replaced physical violence and extortionate threats, as tools of the trade, the latter having brought too many lawful consequences while the former lend a veneer of legitimacy to the same old tiresome enterprises.

Comment #1 by paul zecchino on 2014 02 25

I think all the Hartford Courant has to do is call Doyle's bluff: "Go ahead, sue me."

Doyle certainly doesn't want continued publicity of his theft of RI taxpayer money via the Sports Institute, but he will surely get it with a lawsuit.

Comment #2 by Art West on 2014 02 25

this guy is so shady no wonder our congressional delegation flocked to him and got him federal money

Comment #3 by michael riley on 2014 02 25

Art West -

Spot on. The Zecchino Estate Grifters punk laywer sent us threatening e-mails demanding we immediately cease writing about his human garbage criminal clients who kill for to loot estates.

Rather than fold like a cheape camera to this arrested development, we took it as a signal that we'd been remiss, that we needed to increase our writing about them on the Net and elsewhere, to better expose them and their racket for the benefit of our fellow citizens.

These two-bit lice made good on their threat to sue and filed suit in Collier County, Naples, FL, Court, knowing full well we didn't reside there and never had.

They stupidly claimed my family and I were 'flight risks' then put the lie to their own idiotic claim by having a special process server serve us in our home in which we've resided for twenty years.

These gutless pinworms filed suit, we answered it, years passed, and when came time to come to court on the Judge's notice to dismiss for failure to prosecute, we were there. They weren't. Case dismissed.

Criminals are all bluster.

Call their bluff, always.

Comment #4 by paul zecchino on 2014 02 25

Fortunately the criminal trial will precede any civil defamation suit, which should make a motion to dismiss quite easy. Once convicted, the truth shall set the Hartford Courant free. In addition, the likelihood of Doyle having any cabbage to pay his lawyer for the civil work will drop to zero as his address will be minimum at the ACI. Its a shame for Doyle that Nerohna didnt get this one - at least Doyle had a shot at a country club stay from the Feds.

Comment #5 by David Allen on 2014 02 25

David Allen -

How do you know they're hinky, not on the level? When they overstate their case. They always go a little bit too far.

It's one thing to notify someone of intent to sue if they don't cease and desist from doing something you can sue on.

But here they jump the gun and tell the Courant they are suing. This takes things to a new and silly level and begs questions: "OK, so you're suing us, so where's the process server already? Where's the papers? When do we show up to answer your mess of a suit and where?"

But there's another big, fat problem, one which the idiot, greedy-gut thugs who comprise the Zecchino Estate Grifters overlooked when preparing their half-clever Defamation case against my family and me which was dismissed for failure to show up in court: to prevail in a Defamation action in America, you actually have to show you suffered financial loss.

Even if the Courant published some false statements in and amongst the many true ones, courts tend to allow it. After all, no one's expected to be perfectly correct and factual all the time.

Even if a few willfully malicious false statements were published, the plaintiff has to prove that he lost money on account of them.

But as with the Zecchino Estate Grifters who encouraged the commission of capital crimes in order to loot a Living Trust of millions, this guy threatening to sue apparently profited handsomely.

Another problem: it's not defamatory to state unflattering truths, but it is defamatory to falsely accuse someone who states unflattering facts, of defamation. It's akin to killing the messenger.

They should have threatened defamation in the UK, where it's easy to win because they have no rights. But this is America, where we still have rights.

And Restraining Orders and Defamation Suits are well known as the weapons of choice of criminals both high and low.

Comment #6 by paul zecchino on 2014 02 26

To prevail in a defamation action, among other hurdles, you must prove you lost money due to the willfully false, malicious statements of another.

But in this case, as in the case of Visconti's "Zecchino Estate Grifters", the steak-eyed swine waddled off with millions. So how can one spin that into a loss? Simple, they can't.

You can't have it both ways. You can't waltz off with bags of gold beneath each arm while crying defamation. Well, you can. It's just that no one will buy it.

What plays well in the press often unravels quickly when it gets in front of a judge and jury.

Comment #7 by paul zecchino on 2014 02 26

The Lawsuit reads like a resume. After reading all the Hartford Cournet articles I say you ned to verify if Mr. Doyle even hired those Lawyers or just copied their letterhead.

On another interesting note regarding URI and Mr. Doyle. I say its time for URI to begin revoking a few Honorary Degrees they gave out in the past.

URI handed out Honorary Degrees to the following:

1). Mr. Dan Doyle

Speaker Fox who put Mr. Doyle on the RI State Police's radar screen could attest to Mr. Doyle's misdeeds.

2). Michael S. Van Leesten

Last Winter, Mr. Van Leesten supplied URI with over $5.5 million dollars in fraudulent performance bonds issued by Great Northern Bonding, LTD of Danbury,CT as well as from Newport insurance Company, Inc. also from Danbury,CT based on the information found in two news articles were published in local newspapers regarding this issue ( but never picked up by the Journal) . When contacted by one of the Journalist Mr. Van Leesten would not supply a comment.
Speaker Fox wouldn't have much to say about Mr. Van Leesten's involvement with these fraudulent bonds at URI because he and the Governor nominated Mr. Van Leesten to the EDC ( CC ) I -195 board of which Mr. Van Leesten still sits on.

3). Governor Edward Deprete.
We all can easily remember the charges brought against him when it came to accepting bribes.

Comment #8 by Jean Gauvin on 2014 02 26

I dont understand what the Zecchino case has to do with the Doyle case...There never seems to be an inappropriate place to air one's laundry, even if aired over and over again. Let's stay on topic and not drift to irrelevant grifters...Eh?

Comment #9 by David Allen on 2014 02 26

David Allen -

Allow me to help you understand: patterns in common. In Constructed Frauds, those who plan to profit unlawfully at others' expense first and always choose a fall guy. Ideally, the fall guy to whom they shift all blame to compulsively cover their tracks is the one they plan to loot.

When indviduals who pull Constructed Frauds get caught and are otherwise unable to account for their continuous and ongoing larcenous activities, they invariably file malicious, false, defamation actions against those who expose their scheme. They do this in hamfisted effort to coerce the silence of those who expose them, and as well in half-clever attempt to acquire more resources for their inevitable trial.

The Zecchino Estate Grifters filed a false, malicious defamation action for the above stated reasons. And doesn't it appear, by all available reports, to be the case with La Folles' Doyle? Patterns in common.

There's nothing new under the sun. There's only certain ways hi-dollar grifts can be pulled. One of the classic signs of guilt of late is the filing of defamation suits in hamfisted, vain effort to suppress truth's inevitable emergence.

My post is dead on topic and you well know it. Perhaps were you not so busy crafting a post which sounds as if it were crabbed by some half-wit jackass, you'd have time to gather a few facts of your own.

I write precisely because our experiences, which originated in Rhode Island, involve many of the same individuals and apparent patterns in common as with other hi-dollar schemes making the news of late.

Surely one gifte with your keen powers of observation can instantly grasp that simple concept: facts are important, moreso often is the glue which connects those facts.

Perhaps your next post might feature a few facts, rather than the tiresome hackneyed, moralistic scoldings of the smarmy. But I doubt it.

Comment #10 by paul zecchino on 2014 02 26

One thing is true:

More crimes are committed against the general population by people dressed up in suits and uniforms then by anyone else.

Comment #11 by Jean Gauvin on 2014 02 26


Your family's case is different, but the theme is the same: How unscrupulous people get there hands on a pile of money. Whether or not the pile is private or public, the overall con game is worth studying.

I found a blog you might find interesting. The author of the blog lists the techniques used to steal from the estates of elderly folks:


Comment #12 by Art West on 2014 02 27

...their hands, that is.

Comment #13 by Art West on 2014 02 27

Art West -

I typed a long reply to you, but a message said it has been flagged as 'spam' and 'moderated'.

I'll keep this brief: thank you most kindly for providing the link to the excellent 'stealanestate' website. What a treasure trove. This reads identically to our experiences.

The first two word of the lead sentence of the site tell the tale: "Organized Crime". That is exactly who is behind this.

These are the 'good boys', a few generations removed from the wisguys. They graduated from good schools. They're in the professions - law, banking, medicine, accounting - all most useful to lending a veneer of legitimacy to the crimes they commit.

National level news organizations are well familiar with them, saying many of these enterprises are national in reach and beyond, based in Rhode Island.

Thank you most kindly.

The one weapon which they fear is this: Exposure. Right here. On the Net.

They can work play the Courts like a fiddle, but they cannot bluff the American people who root for underdogs and dislike bullies, especially those who misuse public means for private and unlawful gains.

Expose them at ever turn.

Thank you most kindly for this most valuable resource.

Best regards,


Comment #14 by paul zecchino on 2014 02 28

Art West -

PS, did you notice the young lady who operates the site, stealanestate, stated that her parents were physicians? Another feature in common.

Physicians are known to have have assets beyond the obvious. A physician coerced and compromised by Organized Crime can prove most useful, as certain 'successful Rhode Island businessmen' and 'lawyers' and 'executives' can tell you.

Again, many thanks for this site.

Exposing these rats on the Net will in time both destroy their enterprise and bring them to inevitable lawful justice.

Comment #15 by paul zecchino on 2014 02 28

Those who know anything about the "trade" understand that a letter "putting them on notice" that they might be sued for this, that, the other, and mistreating animals belongs on te t holder, in the bathroom, next to the "WC". A lawsuit filing exposes the filer to repercussions, and needs careful consideration, a "lawyers letter" can be had for 25 bucks, and is the stock in trade of a legal punk, no more. Ya got something, ounk, FILE and be ready for the countersuit, on YOUR dime.

Comment #16 by G Godot on 2014 02 28

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