Former ProvPlan Director Denno Pleads Guilty to Embezzling $740,000

Thursday, March 23, 2017


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Former Providence Plan finance director Charles Denno pleaded guilty to embezzling over $740,000 on Wednesday in federal court.

Denno admitted to the court that he devised and executed a scheme in which he fraudulently converted $742,190.69 of Providence Plan funds for his own use. 

Denno's lawyers had announced in January that he would be pleading guilty to fraud of over $500,000. 

Latest in Controversy

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.

Denno's Fraud 

Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief William E. Smith on Wednesday, Denno admitted to the court that from November 2012 through July 2016, that he 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 then fraudulently converted funds to his own accounts and personal use. 

Denno admitted to the court that he 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 subsequently 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.

Denno is scheduled to be sentenced on June 23, 2017.


Denno’s guilty plea to one count of wire fraud is announced by Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; Brian Hickey, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General; and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.

Wire fraud is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment; 3 years supervised; and a fine of up to $250,000.

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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