Local News, News, South County

Dan Doyle found guilty of all charges in embezzlement trial

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — After one week of deliberations, jurors in the Dan Doyle trial reached a verdict in the case, finding him guilty on all 18 charges including embezzlement and forgery.

The prosecution successfully argued over the 11 week trial that Doyle used more than $1 million of his nonprofit’s funds on personal expenses, including groceries, clothing, cosmetic eye surgery and hundreds of trips to Starbucks. On top of the embezzlement charges, Doyle was convicted of forging nonprofit annual reports and filing them with the State of Rhode Island.

“It was a complicated case, let there be no doubt about it,” Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said outside court after the verdict was read. “There were a lot of documents that had to be gone through tediously.”

Doyle was allowed to continue to be free on his current bail until sentencing. He left the courthouse in silence, declining to comment on the guilty verdicts.

His attorney, Michael Blanchard, said he was disappointed.

“How would you take it? His whole life is shattered,” Blanchard said.

The maximum penalties for Doyle’s convictions add up to 205 years in prison. The Attorney General’s office declined to comment on what sentence they will request. A hearing on the matter has not yet been set.

The jury began deliberating last Monday after closing arguments were given on both sides. Jurors Mary Eddy and Brenda Holder said the panel came to a consensus after painstakingly sifting through more than 500 exhibits, including complicated financial documents and testimony from more than 50 witnesses.

“It was really hard,” Holder said. “There were a lot of questions. It wasn’t a slam dunk.” But she said the jury came to a consensus, deciding on a verdict on each charge in chronological order before moving on to the next. Holder said she thought Alan Hassenfeld was the most compelling witness. The former Hasbro CEO contributed roughly half a million dollars to support the Institute’s new leadership center on URI’s campus, which was never completed. He testified that several documents with his signature on them had not been signed by him.

“We wanted to be very thorough,” Eddy said. She added that she did feel sorry that Doyle’s Institute failed, and she feels bad for the scholar-athletes that can no longer benefit from the program.

“When this trial started it was 85 degrees out, and this morning it snowed,” said Assistant Attorney General J. Patrick Youngs. He and Kilmartin praised the jury for their 12 weeks of service, and also the investigators who had been working on the case, including Rhode Island State Police Detective Courtney Elliot, RISP Lt. Robert Creamer, and Gerard Ratigan, an investigator for RISP.

The investigation into Doyle began in 2012, when questions arose about the unfinished building. Doyle was indicted on the 18 charges in 2013. Over the course of the trial, prosecutors told the jury that Doyle used an American Express card to purchase clothing, groceries, Starbucks coffee, and even cosmetic eye surgery, paying off the bills with money from the Institute. He also embezzled an additional salary, and used Institute funds to pay bills at his for-profit summer camps in Connecticut, the prosecution said.

Doyle also embezzled money to pay for his daughters’ private college tuition, the prosecution successfully argued. He was also convicted of forging annual nonprofit reports that were filed with the State of Rhode Island.

“Certainly anyone running a nonprofit that thinks it’s going to be their personal piggy bank, this would be a lesson for them,” Youngs said.

Doyle’s attorney, Michael Blanchard, said after the verdict that he stands by his closing arguments, in which he said that every transaction Doyle made was approved by the Institute’s board of directors, and included as part of his salary and benefits.

He wouldn’t say whether Doyle plans to appeal, but he did answer a question about what he wanted people to know about his client, who he said he has gotten to know well over the past four years:

“Don’t forget the good things he did.”

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