PROVIDENCE – Charles F. Denno, 67, of East Providence, a former finance director for the Providence Plan, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for devising and executing a scheme in which he fraudulently converted $742,190.69 of Providence Plan funds for his personal 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.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith also ordered Denno to serve 3 years supervised release and to perform 100 hours of community service upon completion of his term of incarceration. Denno was ordered to pay $630,000 restitution to The Providence Plan. He pleaded guilty on March 22, 2017, to wire fraud.
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines range of imprisonment in this matter is 33 – 41 months. The government recommended the court impose a sentence of 33 months in prison.
Denno’s sentence is announced by Acting United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police; Thomas Utz, Acting 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.
At the time of his guilty plea, Denno admitted to the court that from November 2012 through July 2016, 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 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.
The matter, 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.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of Rhode Island