PROVIDENCE, RI – Former Rhode Island state senator James E. Doyle, II, 47, of Pawtucket, was sentenced Friday to 24 months in federal prison for engaging in a $74 million dollar check-kiting scheme in which he wrote tens of thousands of worthless checks, and failed to report more than $1 million dollars in income and pay taxes to the IRS.
Doyle pleaded guilty on September 28, 2018 to thirty-one counts of bank fraud and one count each of filing a false tax return and failing to file a tax return. At the time of his guilty plea Doyle admitted that he engaged in criminal conduct during which $74 million dollars in worthless bank transactions were executed in check-kiting schemes through bank accounts he controlled at three banks. Doyle admitted that he executed the schemes through the use of checks, cash withdrawals, ATM electronic transfers and ACH transfer payments.
Doyle also admitted that for tax years 2013 thru 2016 he and his wife failed to report to the IRS more than $1 million dollars in income and failed to pay $305,426 in taxes due the IRS.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith sentenced Doyle to 3 years supervised release upon completion of his term of incarceration and ordered Doyle to pay restitution totaling $426,707.25 to Santander Bank and Alliance Blackstone Valley Federal Credit Union.
United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman commented, “As so well articulated by Chief Judge Smith, an incarcerative sentence of 24 months is most appropriate considering the damage Mr. Doyle’s actions, in defrauding three banks of almost half a million dollars, has done to erode the people’s trust in their public officials.”
At the time of his guilty plea, Doyle admitted to the Court that he accomplished the check-kiting schemes by writing checks from accounts he knew were not backed by sufficient funds and depositing those checks into different accounts to cover daily overdrafts. Simultaneously, he wrote checks out of the second bank account and deposited those checks back into the first account. The purpose and effect of writing and depositing these worthless checks was to manipulate the numerical balances in the checking accounts, and thereby create the false and fraudulent appearance that the accounts had sufficient available funds in the accounts and to deceive and trick the banks into honoring the checks drawn against the checking accounts with insufficient funds.
Doyle executed the scheme on a daily basis, at times undertaking in excess of 50 transactions per day, included the utilization of ATMs in order to lengthen the time it took for checks to be presented for clearing. The investigation revealed that over the life of the scheme the defendant wrote tens of thousands of worthless checks.