Fmr. Providence Plan Finance Director to Plead Guilty to Fraud
PROVIDENCE – According to signed documents filed in U.S. District Court in Providence, Charles F. Denno, 66, of East Providence, a former finance director for the Providence Plan, has agreed to plead guilty to devising and executing a scheme in which he fraudulently converted more than $500,000 of Providence Plan funds for his own use.
Providence Plan is a non-profit educational entity which receives federal, state and private grant funds, including funds from the United States Department of Education and the Bloomberg Family Foundation. These grant funds are to be used to support educational and other programs for adults and children in Rhode Island. Annually, the federal grant funds awarded to the Providence Plan totaled in excess of four million dollars.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; 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 announced the filing today of an Information charging Denno with wire fraud.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “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.”
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 more than $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 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.
An information is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
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