SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Opening statements in the trial of Dan Doyle got underway in Wakefield Wednesday.
Doyle was indicted back in 2013 on 18 felony counts for allegedly embezzling more the $1 million from the Institute for International Sport and forging signatures of board members. Doyle has denied the charges.
During opening statements, prosecutors maintained Doyle took more than $1 million in unauthorized salary and other expenses from the Institute, a youth sports nonprofit based at the University of Rhode Island’s Kingston campus.
The state told jurors it intends to prove Doyle, of West Hartford, Conn., embezzled in the form of a second salary, bonuses and loan payments, book writing ventures, and in payments for his child’s college tuition.
The state alleges the Institute’s board of directors was in name only, that signatures were improperly signed, and that people who were supposedly on the board were not at all.
The defense opened with the statement that if Dan Doyle is an embezzler, he’s the worst in the history of the world.
Doyle’s attorney said everything was authorized, done in plain sight, reimbursed, and filed in tax returns – adding there was no intent to commit any crimes.
The Institute for International Sport received more than $7 million in taxpayer-funded grants for over 25 years, and had the backing of many state leaders.
The state said it expects to feature about 50 state witnesses, including Hasbro CEO Alan Hassenfeld and state Auditor General Dennis Hoyle.
On Wednesday, testimony was heard from philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein, who donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Institute for a building that was ultimately never finished.
At the time, Feinstein said he stopped payment because the Institute failed to enforce certain athlete community service requirements.
“The funds that we had expended were charitable funds to help people, to encourage young people to do what the Institute had promised they would do,” he testified. “And they were not being met.”
The trial is expected to last two to four months.