Suspect in food pantry forgery previously served time for financial crime

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The suspect in a forgery case involving a charitable account set up for a Providence food pantry had served time in federal prison for illegally withdrawing money from the accounts of customers of the investment firm where she used to work.

Tomma R. DiSano, 44, was employed by Home Loan Investment Bank’s charitable affiliate, Home Loan Foundation, when she allegedly forged several checks over a 19-month period from an account set up to hold money raised for the Assumption Parish Food Ministry.

She was arrested and arraigned last week on six counts of forgery and six counts of passing counterfeit notes.

According to the incident report, a Home Loan executive went to Cranston police in December, alleging DiSano tried to “fraudulently deposit a check for $9,900.”

The report states DiSano is accused of forging checks totaling $63,700.

Home Loan Bank Chairman and CEO Brian Murphy said the alleged crime is an isolated incident and has no bearing on any accounts held at the bank.

“Upon discovering the financial discrepancy, we immediately filed a report with the police department and put a hold on the missing checks,” Murphy said. “The missing funds were subsequently returned to the account.”

DiSano was hired by the bank in 2011, about three years after finishing her probation on two federal mail fraud charges that involved her withdrawing $93,688 from the accounts of two customers of the investment firm where she worked.

After pleading guilty, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay back the money.

Her probation included a number of stipulations, including one that stated she “is not to work in the financial services industry or in any job in which she may have access to or control over the financial accounts of any other person.”

That restriction was no longer in place when DiSano was hired by Home Loan and according to Murphy, her record appeared clean at the time.

“As for Ms. DiSano’s prior criminal charges, they had been expunged from her record, and therefore did not appear on the state background check that was conducted during her hiring process in 2011,” he said. “Since then, with increased regulatory and compliance measures in the banking industry, Home Loan now runs a federal background check on all potential employees.”

According to Cranston police, the alleged forgeries in the active case included two checks written with the name Sister Angela Daniels, who runs the Assumption Parish food pantry.

Sister Angela emphasized the alleged crime “did not and will not” impact the mission of the pantry, which she says has fed about 37,000 people over the past year.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau.