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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Former Finance Director Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

PROVIDENCE – Charles F. Denno, 66, of East Providence, a former finance director for the Providence Plan, pleaded guilty in federal court today to fraud, admitting 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.


The 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.


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.


Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief William E. Smith, 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. 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

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
Updated March 22, 2017