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The White Collar Crime and Public Corruption Unit is charged with the responsibility of prosecuting any crime that can be committed with a pen, a balance sheet, or a computer instead of a mask, gun or knife. In other words, the Unit targets crimes of sophistication, deception and ingenuity rather than those of fear, violence or intimidation. These crimes include public corruption, traditional financial crimes, and a variety of other criminal activities generally characterized as white collar crimes.
The White Collar Crime Unit's efforts resulted in $ 2,509,068.25 in court-ordered restitution to victims in 2013.
One of the most high profiles cases charged in 2013 was the announcement of an 18-count indictment against Daniel E. Doyle, Jr., founder and executive director of the Institute for International Sport (“Institute”). Doyle was indicted on seven counts of embezzlement, one count of obtaining money under false pretenses, five counts of forgery, and five counts of filing a false document.
The indictment was the result of an investigation that began in February 2012. The investigation by the Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit and the Office of the Attorney General included reviewing thousands of documents and interviewing numerous witnesses. Investigators learned that Doyle personally obtained over $1,000,000 in unauthorized salary increases, bonuses and personal expenses paid for by Institute funds. The personal expenses include non-business expenses, payments to Bates College and Kingswood Oxford School and/or Oberlin College, payments relating to Doyle’s basketball and poetry camps and his Hall of Fame Press publishing company, as well as household expenses.
It is also alleged that monies obtained from the Hassenfeld Foundation to the Institute for the designated use in construction of the Hassenfeld-Hogg Center for Sports Leadership Building were obtained under false pretenses.
It is further alleged that for the years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Doyle procured unauthorized signatures in connection with the Institute’s Non-Profit Corporation Annual Reports filed with the State of Rhode Island. The grand jury also indicted Doyle on five counts of filing a false document with regards to those five annual reports filed with the Secretary of State’s Office.
The case is pending before the Superior Court.
The Unit also prosecutes traditional financial crimes such as embezzlement, forgery, obtaining money under false pretenses, wrongful conversion, forgery, banking violations, extortion, criminal usury, perjury, and false swearing, in addition to crimes relating to mortgage and loan fraud, which recently have become more widespread with the collapse of the housing market and struggling economy. The Unit places heavy emphasis on those that have a significant impact on individual victims or on the public at large. Recognizing the extreme stress and financial upheaval suffered by victims of financial crime, one of the Unit’s primary goals in these prosecutions is asset location and restitution recovery for victims.
The Unit’s efforts in 2013 resulted in $ 2,509,068.25 in court-ordered restitution to victims.
In 2013, the Office of Attorney General partnered with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (RIDLT) to fund a prosecutor to exclusively handle RIDLT cases.
The proliferation of computers and smartphones has given rise to an array of computer –facilitated crimes, requiring the Unit to become deeply involved with high tech methods of identifying and prosecuting such crime. Consequently, the Unit has seen a significant increase in crimes committed through the use of computers and the internet, especially child pornography and online sex crimes against children. The Unit works closely with law enforcement agencies specializing in computer crime including the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce.
In addition, the Unit also handles cases involving criminal trademark and copyright infringement, state tax code violations, welfare fraud, unemployment insurance fraud, pension fraud, worker compensation fraud, and violations of state election law, among other financial crimes in which the tax payer is the victim.
To that end, the Office of Attorney General partnered with the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training in 2013 to fund a prosecutor to exclusively handle RIDLT cases. From the inception of this new position, the assigned prosecutor disposed of seven cases obtaining court-ordered restitution of nearly $80,000. Additionally, approximately 15 felony cases were charged with the assistance of the Rhode Island State Police, representing a potential recovery of $140,000 in restitution to the State of Rhode Island for fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation benefits.
The White Collar Crime and Public Corruption Unit was also instrumental
in drafting legislation to modernize the state’s laws in the areas of
financial, public corruption and computer crime to give law enforcement the
tools needed to combat financial and other crimes in an increasingly
technological world. Legislation includes updating the state’s online
impersonation laws to reflect the growing use of the Internet, especially
social media sites, as well as legislation to protect children from online