SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The trial of a man accused of embezzling more than $1 million from a nonprofit he founded is now in the hands of the jury.
After two months of testimony, closing arguments were given Monday morning in the Dan Doyle trial.
Doyle is facing 18 counts, including embezzlement and forgery. Jurors will now decide whether or not he’s guilty of committing these crimes while executive director of the Institute for International Sport, which he created in 1987.
Prosecutors allege that Doyle used the organization as a “personal piggy bank,” spending institute money on personal expenses.
“Hundreds of trips to Starbucks,” Asst. Attorney General J. Patrick Youngs said Monday. “Groceries, clothing, cosmetic eye surgery.”
During closing arguments, Doyle’s attorney said all of his client’s purchases were on the books and many expenses were part of his salary and benefits, including his daughters’ college tuition.
“Dan Doyle had every right to believe that he was entitled and authorized to have his salary and benefit package which he received from the institute,” said attorney Michael Blanchard.
Two of Doyle’s daughters testified earlier this month that the institute, located at URI’s Kingston campus, paid for their private college education. Meg Doyle said the tuition payments were part of her father’s “package.”
“My parents helped me with loans for most of it,” Meg Doyle said of her Bates College tuition. “And then the Institute paid for a small portion of it.”
On Monday, the prosecution called Doyle’s daughters’ testimony “scripted,” saying all three said the same thing with the same cadence.
Youngs also said there was basically no board of directors to oversee the institute and people listed as members didn’t know they were on the board.
“Probably the only real meeting of the board that ever occurred was at the Trump Tower in 1987,” Youngs added.
Blanchard argued that even if the jury doesn’t like Doyle’s conduct when he ran the institute, that doesn’t make it criminal.
“Trials are not popularity contests,” he said. “Trials are not who you like, who you dislike. Trials are about the fact and the law.”
The jury is scheduled to continue deliberating on Tuesday.