Crime, Local News, News, Providence

State police investigating fired finance chief at Providence nonprofit

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — Rhode Island State Police opened an investigation Tuesday into possible embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars at The Providence Plan, a local nonprofit that receives millions of tax dollars per year to support community and youth programs.

The Providence Plan’s executive director Pat McGuigan said in an interview with Eyewitness News that Charles Denno was immediately fired after admitting to the organization’s attorneys that he stole the money. McGuigan said Denno had wide-ranging control over accounts, and the nonprofit is still investigating exactly how much money is missing. The embezzlement appears to have taken place over a number of years, McGuigan said.

Rhode Island State Police Maj. Joseph Philbin confirmed that The Providence Plan reported Denno and an investigation was opened but declined to comment further on the ongoing investigation.

A phone call to Charles Denno requesting comment was not immediately returned.

The Providence Plan receives both state and federal grants along with philanthropic donations, mostly from corporations, McGuigan said. The money goes towards programs like YouthBuild Providence, which serves about 600 young people. The organization is also looking to open an “alternative” high school in the near future for students who learn in different ways.

“While this is obviously troubling news, we are committed to continuing to perform our mission and serve the community,” McGuigan said in a statement.

Internally, McGuigan said the nonprofit has retained outside counsel and plan to do a forensic audit.

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