Doyle pleads guilty to bank fraud, tax crimes

PROVIDENCE – Little more than a month after being charged by the federal government with 31 counts of bank fraud and one count each of filing a false tax return and failing to file a tax return, former R.I. Sen. James E. Doyle III has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for Rhode Island on all counts.

Doyle admitted that he engaged in a check-kiting scheme by performing fraudulent transactions with Alliance Blackstone Valley Federal Credit Union, Bristol County Savings Bank and Santander Bank worth $74 million. He admitted the fraud resulted in he and his wife failing to report $1 million in income from 2013 to 2016 and failing to pay $305,426 in taxes due the IRS. Doyle is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 18.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island, the fraud consisted of Doyle writing checks on accounts that he knew did not have sufficient funds to cover the check and then depositing those checks in other accounts. Subsequently he would transfer money from the second account back to the first one to cover the fraudulent check, often using ATMs to make the transactions. The investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI showed that over the course of the scheme, Doyle wrote tens of thousands of worthless checks, often more than 50 per day.

Doyle used two businesses that he owned, Doyle Respiratory LLC and Doyle Sleep Solutions LLC, to accomplish the fraud.

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Doyle had been a state senator from Pawtucket before resigning in January.